Gallery: Rotterdam’s Stepped Central Library Sprouts a Green Roof and a...

The Rotterdam Central Library has lots more to offer than books. The iconic public building by Jacob Bered Bakema is part of the NAI (Netherlands Architecture Institute) and it features a modernist stepped design, expansive windows, and a huge cascade of yellow pipes. An ideal space for studying, meeting friends, reading, watching films and discovering new music, the library now boasts a new green roof complete with a beehive!

The Rotterdam Central Library launched in 1983 as an “open, inviting, centrally located building that is accessible to everyone.”  Its main feature is its striking array of yellow-painted round pipes, which are reminiscent of the Pompidou Centre. Its stepped façade faces the city center, bringing plenty of natural light in while providing lots of area for enjoying greenery and fresh air outside.

Located in one of these steps is the newly opened green roof which overlooks the lively outdoors market and provides tables for enjoying tea or coffee. This green area was subsidized by a municipality initiative that aims to make this great Dutch city “climate-proof”. In addition to the green roof, a beehive was placed to celebrate “2012, The Year Of The Bee” and teach visitors how the cute pollinating insects depend on us and how we depend on them.


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