One of my favorite moments during our visit to Amsterdam was when my brother-in-law took us to the Amsterdam Public Library (Openbare Bibliotheek Amsteram). At first I was like sure, okay, I like books. But it was beyond anything I'd ever seen in a library. I was in awe the moment we walked into the entrance here. Will you look at this place? I couldn't wait to roam around and get inspired. I loved it.
The library spans over 7 floors–it's actually the largest public library in all of Europe! As you can kind of see here, the place is huge. And can we talk about the overall design and feel of the place? The lighting throughout the library was amazing too. It was designed by brilliant Dutch architect Jo Coenen and was awarded "Most Sustainable Public Building in Amsterdam" in 2008. There are 600 internet-connected computers, 50 multi-media workplaces, and an underground storage area for 2,000 bikes (only 1,200 parking spaces for cars–makes sense).
As you can see people really post up and hang out here. I loved how relaxed the environment was, yet you could tell everyone was really into what they were doing. My BIL said he would study here all the time while acquiring his MBA.
This restaurant was also a big reason to study here. There was the most amazing view of the city just behind me. Great place for a lunch date. There was also a café on a different level with a fully stocked bar and beer on tap. They really give you no reason to leave this library.
This entire floor was dedicated to kids. At the top of that little spiral staircase was a loft where kids could just hang out and read.
I loved seeing this little girl reading in this giant red chair.
A teepee was also set up in the middle of the floor for kids to play and/or read in.
How cool is this Apple computer station for the kiddos? Little dude on the left cracked me up with his sweatband, glasses and painted cat face. He was definitely into his duck game.