Books and beer are more than just a great late-night combination; they’re also both integral to Magdeburg, Germany’s new Open Air Library. The pop-up library started with the facade of an old warehouse and ended up as an open-air library constructed out of over 1,000 beer cartons.
The library, which was built by Karo Architekten and local community members, features a reading cafe and stage for cultural events. Since being announced in 2005, the library has accumulated 20,000 books. Now that it’s finished, the books are out of storage and on the shelves. And the library is open for public use 24 hours a day. In a bid of confidence, the Open Air Library doesn’t require registration, either. Visitors are simply asked to return books in a reasonable amount of time or donate another one.
It sounds like a positive community-building idea for the post-industrial city of Magdeburg, but we have just one question: won’t exposure to the elements weather the books more quickly than normal? Even though the structure is covered by an awning, a strong wind could blow in rain or snow. Perhaps the open-air pop-up building is better suited as a gathering place than a home to easily-damaged books.