Qatar library “open to nation” says Rem Koolhaas


The upcoming Qatar National Library (QNL) will be about more than just books – it will be an “amphitheatre of knowledge”, according to architect Rem Koolhaas, designer of the building.

Koolhaas was speaking at a panel discussion on “The role of libraries in unleashing potential” at the 48th Metropolitan Libraries Conference at the Qatar National Convention Centre.

Qatar National Library


“This library particularly is considered an amphitheatre of knowledge that surrounds you the moment you enter. I’m very confident it will not be shelves that will dominate your impression but it will be knowledge,” he told attendees.

READ MORE: In pictures: Koolhaas’ Qatar National Library

 The Dutch designer said immersing into the country’s culture and history was a vital part of the process of designing the library.

He explained QNL’s function has evolved from catering exclusively to students of to the nation at large.

Qatar National Library

“It started as a university library specifically addressing the different universities here as a connecting tool, but now it has acquired an additional task-to open up itself to a nation as a national library,” he explained.

The 42,000m2 library will hold up to 1.3m books and will incorporate features such as a special event area and a restaurant as well as a people mover.

QNL is technologically advanced, but it emphasises the importance of the past with the presence of Islamic and Arabic collections.

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