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Monday28 July 2014

Koolhaas reveals designs for Qatar National Library

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Dutch architect working on building to house a million books

Rem Koolhaas’s designs for the Qatar National Library have been revealed at a launch ceremony attended by Prince Andrew.

More than one million books and 300 public computers will be housed within the building.

Qatar National Library is working with the British Library to digitise more than 500,000 records relating to the country.

The project was announced yesterday by the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. It is expected to open in late 2014.

A statement from the foundation said the library would be “one of the most important and iconic landmarks in Qatar and the region”.

The foundation also outlined plans for an ‘eHub’ to allow access to the library’s archive of electronic books and documents without visiting the building in person.

Project director Claudia Lux said: “We are proud to announce the development of a project of a globally unique scope and breadth in its field to bridge the gap between past and future and enable a true modern renaissance of Arab culture, education and scientific discovery.”

The project launch coincided with the 50th anniversary of Dar-al-Kutub, the Gulf Region’s first national library which opened in Doha in 1962.

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Readers' comments (4)

  • All Qater needs here is a kool-looking sun glasses ~ hooray, glokoolhaasation!!

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  • Those renderings are terrible.

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  • Rhys, it's not the renderings, don't blame the messenger...

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  • Yesterday's architectural superstar now hobnobs with "Prince" Andrew. For some reason the combination of this prince of devious dealings does not sit well in my mind with the idea of a library. As for the "one million books": either Qatar already possesses a magnificently endowed library (which seems unlikely) or Amazon is going to get a big order. But the real truth is that funding a library always looks good if the rich and powerful want to appear cultured. And of course you hire an architect who's going to impress your rich and powerful friends. So who, but Koolhaas?

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