Cardiff library at e-architect.
Contemporary library buildings at e-architect.
Here's Owen Hatherley:
"The library, part of the same development, is mannered on the outside; a barcode facade meeting copper cladding, with the entrance to Wagamama clearer than that of the library itself. The interior is better, balancing activity and quietness with a hint of brutalism about the materials."
One phrase from BDP Chairman Tony McGuirk struck me oddly, though, as he is quoted as saying "The first step of genius was to place the library at the centre of the street, the second step was to create an architecture both externally and internally that creates an irresistible place for people to spend their learning time".
I agree that it is a good looking building, but as to its location, the 'stroke of genius' seems to closely resemble the design decision made back in 1882, when what we now call The Old Library was placed right in the middle of The Hayes, next to the market. And its opening day was declared a public holiday! They really knew how to do grand openings back then! :-)
The extended version, with the wonderful south-facing facade, was later inaugurated by The Prince of Wales himself, in 1896 - as anyone willing to pop over to Wikipedia would know - and the building remained in use as a library until 1988.
Oh, and the Old Library is still functioning, by the way, over a hundred years later, but now as a tourist and information centre.
But don't mind me, I only work here in The New. And my office is pleasant enough...