The rare library of hidden books


Reading time 2 minutes

Ira Koers architecture and interior design studio and Roelof Mulder graphic design collaborated in the remodeling of this library, carrying out a project that has won several awards, including the prestigious Great Indoor Award of 2009 .
For students it is their second home and, daily, between 2, 500 and 5, 000 university students enjoy their benefits. A large light wood counter welcomes you at the entrance, and on the front it reads in large letters: INFORMATIE, so that there is no doubt about its function. The interior is neat and white, with the exception of some touches of gray and black in the large common spaces, such as that for group work, whose tables under steel lamps resemble those of a dining room.

La parte más cálida, la más natural

The warmest part, the most natural © Corbis

The atmosphere is cold, although it becomes more comfortable when you reach the reading areas, decorated with colored furniture and some seats and tables made with tree trunks . But the most spectacular area is the storage area of the books : they are stored individually in stacked red plastic boxes, thousands of boxes with a blank number that determines which book it is.
Students can order the book via the Internet and pick it up in this warehouse lit by neon lights, which provide a dramatic and theatrical effect to the environment . The books are treated as strange laboratory specimens, treasures that must be pampered to the point that they cannot even be exposed to the view of the readers.
Roelof Mulder, graphic designer, multidisciplinary artist and typography expert, was the first winner of the Rotterdam Design Award and has worked with great Dutch designers such as Droog Design or Marcel Wanders, and has been art director for Frame magazine. He tells us: “We wanted to offer the student a blank canvas so that they, with their own objects and their personal environment, consider the library as their second home. We arranged an exchange of cold spaces and warm spaces for the different functions that are developed inside. ”

INFORMATIE, por si no te habías dado cuenta

INFORMATIE, in case you hadn't noticed © Corbis

This space is provisional until a new building is built, but it will be difficult to forget the red room of the hidden books. Perhaps their concealment is a metaphor for the uncertain future that awaits paper books . In this library they are protected from dust and prying eyes, as if they were already relics.