massengale.typepad.com > The Truth Is Out There:
Koolhaas In Seattle

Introduction

I haven't seen Rem Koolhaas's new Seattle Public Library in person. The architecture critics predictably loved it. I've liked some of Koolhaas's work, and posted a blog entry asking people who'd been to the library what they thought (the entry contains some comments and links to articles).

But I must say these very handsome photographs from the Seattle Times make it look like a vast alien mothership has landed in the middle of Seattle. The Times' caption for the second picture in the album says, "This is a public building, designed to draw you inside in part by revealing itself at night." The caption for the same view in the daytime (above) says, "The steel-and-glass Seattle Public Library seems to LOOM out over Fourth Avenue and Madison Street in downtown Seattle" [my emphasis — I think the looming must trump the welcoming].

The first picture sure makes it look as though it would be very unpleasant to walk along next to the library. And can the Reception Desk possibly seem welcoming?

SeattleTimesAll photos copyright © 2004 Seattle Times Company.