“Reading is solitude,” Italo Calvino once said, which is why the environment you surround yourself with has to be quiet and distraction-free. Libraries in a way act like temples of cultural worship and are the perfect settings for one to gather their thoughts and “travel” through space and time, but also find ones inner-self.
Poirier’s perspective pays homage to the personal touches and interpretations of literature that these architects brought to each library. Like fingerprints, each architect crafted his vision for a new space for this sacred self-exploration. These seemingly minute details are everywhere, from the balance of natural and artificial light to optimise reading yet preserve ancient texts to the selective use of studying tables to either foster community or encourage lonely reflection. The selection of these libraries that span space, time, style and cultures were carefully selected for each one’s unique ambiance and architectural contribution. This is reflected in Poirier’s tasteful use of symmetry to highlight classical values of beauty, and the strong visual interpretation of the solitude that one feels when immersed in reading.