Seattle Public Library Concept Book

As a first step in developing their design for the Seattle Public Library, OMA and LMN (the local architect of record) prepared a fantastic concept book for the client. While this concept book does make an early attempt at a formal strategy for the library, I think the most exciting and most valuable part of this book is the initial programmatic analysis. They had to start with the question “what is a library now, what does it do, and why is it valuable?” There are a number of diagrams and explanatory text in this booklet that weren’t shown in Joshua Prince-Ramus’ TED talk. Check it out.

link to concept book


And, DOUBLE BONUS: here are a few early concept diagrams for the SPL that weren’t included in that booklet. Super simple sectional circulation diagrams that show who the main library users are, what they want out of the library, and what areas they might occupy. My favorite is the “coffee and hill-climber,” who doesn’t care about books–s/he just passes through the library (located on a sloped site) to get coffee on their way to work.


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