The Staatsbibliothek forms the eastern
boundary of the Kulturforum, a complex of buildings which also includes Scharouns Philharmonie and Kammermusiksaal and Mies van der
Rohes Neue Nationalgalerie.
The building exhibits an architectural language familiar from Scharouns Philharmonie
(completed in 1963), but pleasingly and appropriately adapted to the program of a library.
If the Philharmonies sculptural interior (generated by the concert hall itself)
stretches and compresses its exterior, the Staatsbibliotheks multiple reading,
research and stack spaces make for a gentler, and less agitated exterior. The spaces
within are wonderfully modulated. The volumes of reading rooms, offices, and stacks are
seemingly stitched together by stairways and smaller changes in level. The building
beckons to be explored.
Along with the Exeter Library designed by Louis
Kahn, the Staatsbibliothek is probably the most famous of modern libraries. Its
contribution to architects understanding of a building type with a long and
well-documented history has been extremely influential in subsequent library design.
Scharouns building, while deriving its form from its function, is no mere sum of
functional parts. Its expressivenessand that of Scharouns other buildings in
the Kulturforumis personal and idiosyncratic in ways that mark a clear contrast to
the canonical international style exhibited by its neighbor, Mies van der Rohes Neue
Jay Berman 1999
How to visit
The Staatsbibliothek is south of the Tiergarten
and west of Potsdamer Platz.
Ubahn/Sbahn: S1, S2, U2
Station: Potsdamer Platz
Books and other web
Click the book title to view and to order direct