Paris national library

The Bibliothèque Nationale de France (National Library of France) was built in 1996, replacing an old structure, located near the Louvre, which had become grossly inadequate to house the treasures of France's literary world.

The construction of this magnificent new building was proposed in the 1980s by then-President François Mitterrand, and was enthusiastically received by the French public and has been highly-acclaimed for its unique design.

The glittering new library is quite futuristic in design, which is exactly what architect Dominique Perrault had in mind.

The building consists of four 24-story towers, shaped as open books, all overlooking a beautiful inner garden. The main reading room areas are open and airy, with lots of glass providing the extra light so often lacking in old, dingy libraries. The furniture is ultra-modern yet comfortable, warm yet sleek, fashioned from a variety of woods.

The library can accommodate 1,600 readers - all at one time - if necessary. That makes this one of the largest libraries in the world. Many of the public reading areas overlook the pristine courtyard, giving the reader the impression that they're far removed from the hustle and bustle characteristic of the City of Light. An additional 2,000 seats are found in private reading areas that are meant for researchers only. 

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