Rem Koolhaas on how he designed the Qatar National Library.
For many, libraries are typically associated with silence and solitude. But in Qatar, such conventions don’t hold up so well. Instead, since its opening in late 2017, the Qatar National Library (QNL) has virtually come to serve as one of the country’s most popular town squares, regularly hosting live performances, lectures, and other events.
There are also dedicated spaces for children to play, for entrepreneurs to work on their next big idea, for tinkerers to experiment with 3D printing, and lots more. There are even hanging pods for bookworms to kick their feet up and relax with their next read.
All our work at Qatar Foundation revolves around offering people opportunities. While our other initiatives provide opportunities for excellence in education and research, it’s through our community development initiatives that we provide a platform to fully engage communities on the ground and build programs that develop our nation as a whole.
The public response to such an open and vibrant library has been overwhelmingly positive, but what led to QNL adopting such an unconventional design approach in the first place?
We spoke to Rem Koolhaas, the architect behind it all, to find out more.