Warehousing the British Library’s unread books

The British Libary (above) can’t accommodate a copy of every item published in the UK, but a 1911 copyright law requires it to do just that.

Enter the book warehouse, an “epic grey corrugated temple” designed to house the books nobody’s reading. Last year the Library of Congress heralded the project and its “radical implications as a blueprint for future library collection storage developments.”

BLDGBLOG’s Geoff Manaugh observes that, with the British library’s new text bunker, and other “gigantic air conditioned warehouses under almost continual construction on the sides of Western motorways,” the “quest for unrestricted information retrieval has taken on architectural form.”


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