Madrid, the town I have chosen to call home for the last ten years, has a multitude of libraries that might well have fallen straight from the pages of a fantasy or science fiction novel. Despite drastic cuts carried out in the name of austerity, most of the libraries included here are open to the general public and I encourage the Madrileños to support their local with a visit.
For Sci-Fi we should start with my local, Pedro Salinas, in Puerta de Toledo, constructed in 1992 by Juan Navarro Baldeweg, zapped out of Terry Eagleton´s discworld.
La biblioteca Ana Maria Matute in Carabanchel, by RSP architects, like some crazy glass headed dinosaur.
The Rafael Alberti Library by Andrés Perea Ortega with its magnificent Mies van der Rohe facade:
The Gloria Fuertes public library whose cyclopian facade stares out over a bleak Barajas.
The Luis Martin Santos Library in Vallecas created by architects Mario San Juan Calle, Ángel Sevillano Martín e Iván Carpintero López enjoys some fantastic reading spaces:
The Jose Hierro library in Usera (Ábalos y Herreros, 2002) functionally designed to act as a “catalyst” in the local community.
The Mara Moliner Library by Miguel Cabanes Ginés, Elena Robles Alonso, Pedro Gambín Hurtado (2013)
The ESIC Library of Marketing Finance and Economy
Rather more well known is the library of the Reina Sofia modern art gallery by Jean Nouvel.
Leon Tolstoi in Las Rozas seems to have simply appeared out of nowhere since no reference to its construction can be found. An invisible architect?
Or how about the polytechnic University library, below?
And near to the Retiro these two gems:
Casa de Fieras:
Biblioteca Retiro in the Calle Doctor Esquerdo:These and other gems in the Community of Madrid have suffered cuts to services, budgets, opening times affecting users, collections, reading groups etc
Support your local library to avoid situations like this one (Bilblioteca Publica Joaquin Vilumbrales, Alcorcon) where local protest was necessary to restore their access to something like approaching a good library service.