What began as an assemblage of 1,000 empty beer cartons pulled together by residents in East Germany has now evolved into an incredible open-air public library. Designed by Karo Architekten in collaboration with local residents, the grassroots project revitalises a post-industrial district in Magdeburg, Germany by creating a cultural centre and pop-up library where books are free to take and leave 24 hours a day.
Libraries and book lending are great green practices insofar as they encourage the use of shared resources and cut down on crates of pressed tree pulp circulating the globe. They’re even better when they foster a communal spirit of sharing, as does Magdeburg’s new Open Air Library.
In addition to its book lending facilities, the Open Air Library also introduces a burst of green public space to a post-industrial district. The grassy plaza features a reading cafe and a stage that hosts elementary school theater plays, public readings, concerts, and other cultural events.