Egypt, Alexandria Library

Bibliotheca Alexandrina is the result of an international architectural competition in 1989 organized by the International Union of Architects, UNESCO, and the Government of Egypt. The design submitted by SNØHETTA, an international group of architects based in Norway, was awarded First Prize among 524 entries from 52 countries.

The 85,000 square meter Bibliotheca has been heralded as a significant milestone in architectural, engineering, information science and cultural heritage. The new library is built on a magnificent site alongside Alexandria’s ancient harbor in the historic center of the city. The 11-story library can contain up to 4 million volumes of books, a figure that can be expanded up to 8 million in the future by the use of compact storage.

BIBLIOTHECA ALEXANDRINA provides more than a Library. In addition to the library facilities, the Bibliotheca also contains other cultural and educational functions including a planetarium, several museums, a school for information science, and conservation facilities.

BIBLIOTHECA ALEXANDRINA’s Striking Contemporary Design Features characterized by its circular, tilting form, the building spans 160 meters in diameter and reaches up to 32 meters in height, while also diving some 12 meters into the ground. An open plaza and reflecting pool surrounds the building, and a footbridge links the city to the nearby University of Alexandria.  

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