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Seattle Central Library, Seattle

1000 Fourth Ave.
Seattle , Washington
Tel: 206 386 4636
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Concierge.com's insider take:

Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and Seattle-area native Joshua Ramus's groundbreaking design for the Central Library has turned what is often a utilitarian building into an architectural mecca. Its shape is hard to pin down; some call it a just-landed spacecraft; others describe it as a Rubik's Cube cinched by a corset. The library, which opened in May 2004, houses some one million books (the nonfiction titles are located in a "book spiral" that winds its way up four floors, a reference to the continuous, ever-expanding nature of information). The futuristic design incorporates some 400 computers (many available for public use in the fifth floor "mixing chamber"), lipstick-red hallways, shocking chartreuse escalators, and a cathedral-like reading room with brightly colored foam chairs.

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