Library Boekenberg, MVRDV, Rotterdam

When it’s about inspiring people to read, this library is arguably as good as it gets: it literally forms a mountain of books hence the name “Boekenberg”! Architect Winy Maas of MRVDV created a disarming building, and a single long ramp along all bookcases. If you’re in the mood you can climb 450 meters and discover the entire library. The lighting design, that I developed while I was Global Leader at Arup, let the mountain of books glow at night, while preventing any unnecessary clutter. Many of the light sources are attached to the book cases. And when LED lighting became viable half way the building process, Italian manufacturer Viabizzuno re-engineered my lighting design to make it fit for the future. The result is a lovely project: ample daylight through the glass roof, additional, focused lighting that creates intimacy and that cosy atmosphere that makes that you just have to read all those books! And at night, the entire building glows like a lantern in the dark.