Rem Koolhaas' Stacked and Staggered Library Rethinks Wayfinding


Rem Koolhaas' stacked and staggered public library is an eleven story monument to public space and level transition in downtown Seattle. Celebrated for its brilliant planning, the architects solution for an urban library has more to do with exploration than it does books and records.


a bright chartreuse elevator carries visitors up from the main level through a series of rooms and environments to explore


The interior is a funky experiment of architectural massing and level transitions set inside a glass and metal enclosure. Each block is stacked and staggered onto each other, then reconnected by brightly coloured way-finding typologies. The approach and entrance curves up from the street to the first floor. Three bright yellow elevators shuttle visitors up and down through a structural tower. Additionally, a series of escalators cut up and through the buildings massing.

Rem Koolhas Plans Elevator.gif

One of the most unique features of the buildings interior architecture, is a continuous four-storey spiral ramp increasing accessibility and making it more enjoyable for everyone to browse the libraries collection.