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Seattle Library, Central Branch

The 11-level Central branch opened its doors to the public in May of 2004 to many excited fans of Rem Koolhaas, the Dutch architect who helped design the building alongside Joshua Ramus.

Many visit the library to check out the interior design. On the fourth level, neutral colored meeting rooms are broken up with a corridor painted in darks reds and pinks that resemble the inside of a heart. The third level or “Living Room” features a 500 foot high glass ceiling. Levels six through nine are spiraled like the old Kingdome entrance ramps or the Sea-Tac parking garage exit. The levels hold a dizzying amount of magazines, newspapers, government publications, CDs, DVDs, maps, etc. Over 400 people can sit comfortably in the tenth level reading room, which features a 40 foot glass wall/ceiling. This room also has great views of Elliott Bay.

There is enough steel used in the library’s structure to build 20 Statue of Liberties and the glass would cover almost six football fields.

The library is almost 363,000 square feet and can hold more than 1.45 million books. The books move through the building in a modern book-handling system hidden from the public. The library also has 400 computers and wireless Internet as well.

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