dlr Lexicon in Dún Laoghaire, Ireland
Dlr Lexicon in Dún Laoghaire, Ireland, designed by Carr Cotter & Naessens. Photography: Alice Clancy

With the advent of digital technology, many predicted the demise of the traditional library entirely. But architects and designers are helping to reimagine its role for the 21st century. Today’s libraries are all-round community hubs where you can catch a gig, brainstorm with entrepreneurs, take in an exhibition and possibly even (whisper it) read a book.

Interior of the dlr LexIcon designed by Carr Cotter & Naessens
Interior of the dlr LexIcon designed by Carr Cotter & Naessens.  Photography: Alice Clancy

The new Dlr Lexicon in Dún Laoghaire, Ireland, embodies this idea. Carr Cotter Naessens has created ‘a knowledge hub for books and digital media, a place where the whole community can feel at home,’ says Louise Cotter. As well as a library, the building includes an art gallery, workshop, studio theatre and café, and facilities such as 3D printing machines.

Here, we step inside other buildings across the world that are driving the library’s evolution.

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