(Spijkenisse, October 4th, 2012): Today Spijkenisse Book Mountain and the adjacent residential neighbourhood, Library Quarter, will be opened by Prinses Laurentien of the Netherlands. Manifesting itself clearly as a mountain of books on the towns market square, it is both an advertisement and an invitation for reading. Clever stacking of the buildings commercial functions produces its pyramidal form, which in turn, is wrapped in the libraries 480 meters route along bookshelves. Underneath the libraries barn shaped glass envelope the book gains a strong educational presence in this formerly agricultural community located close the docks of the Port of Rotterdam. The adjacent Library Quarter consisting of 42 social housing units, parking and public space is also a project by MVRDV, together with the Book Mountain it forms an exemplary eco-neighbourhood.
The library is designed as an advert for reading, its visible presence and invitation holding great significance for a community with 10 percent illiteracy. From underneath the glass dome the library is visible from all sides, especially from the adjacent market square where the library appears as one big book mountain. Underneath its monumental glass envelope damage to the books by sunlight is off-set by their normal 4 year life-span due to wear and tear from borrowing.
Located in the centre of Spijkenisse, the library with a total surface area of 9.300m2 sits on the market square next to the historical village church. Besides the library the building houses the environmental education centre, a chess club, auditorium, meeting rooms, commercial offices and retail. The exterior of the library refers in shape and materiality to the traditional Dutch Farm, a reminder of the towns agricultural past, which has grown from farming village to Ville Nouvelle in the past 40 years.