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TU Delft Library

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TU Delft Library
TU Delft Library
Location in The Netherlands
General information
Architectural styleModernist
AddressPrometheusplein 1
Town or cityDelft
Coordinates52°00′10″N 04°22′32″E / 52.00278°N 4.37556°E / 52.00278; 4.37556Coordinates: 52°00′10″N 04°22′32″E / 52.00278°N 4.37556°E / 52.00278; 4.37556
OwnerDelft University of Technology
Technical details
Floor area15,000 square metres (160,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
ArchitectErick van Egeraat
Francine Houben
Structural engineerAbt
Awards and prizesNational Steel Construction Prize
Dutch Steel Building Institute 1998
Award for the Millennium
Corus Construction 2000

The TU Delft Library is the main library of the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft), located in Delft, Netherlands. It was designed by the Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo and built in 1997. It is the largest technical scientific library in the Netherlands.


The library was designed in the early years of Mecanoo, whose founding members, Erick van Egeraat, Henk Döll, Francine Houben, Roelf Steenhuis and Chris de Weijer, were graduates of TU Delft.[1] An example of a building that acts as landscape,[2] the library is partially underground with a 15% sloped plane and a grass-covered green roof on top. Protruding from the artificial hill there is a 40 metres (130 ft) steel cone which acts as a source of daylight and is meant to symbolize technical engineering.[3] Although a successful exterior element, the cone was more unsatisfactory in the interior and received some criticism in architectural reviews.[4] A series of columns distribute heat and light throughout the interior.[5] The green roof system by ZinCo Benelux uses a cellular glass insulation and a 15-centimetre (6 in) substrate.[6] Together with the green roof and the insulation it provides, a reduced external wall surface improves the building's energy efficiency.[7] The roof is walkable and the students use it to sit and socialize during the summer,[4] or as a sledding hill during the winter.[6][8]

In the central hall the lending desk occupies the space at the bottom of the cone, surrounded by steel struts,[9] with the east wall covered by suspended steel-frame bookcases going up four floor and accessible via stairs.[10] The edge of the building is used for staff offices, with a fully glazed exterior window wall.[11] The library is located in the center of the campus next to the brutalist-style auditorium Aula, by Jo van den Broek and Jaap Bakema, providing a new spatial context to that building.[12] The building received awards such as the Award for the Millennium, Corus Construction (2000),[3] and has been selected as one of the most original and beautiful libraries in the world by Condé Nast Traveler and CNN Travel respectively.[13][14]

Collections and activities

The library is the university's central library and also includes a learning center, student workspace rooms, a bookshop and a café.[15] As of 2017 it had a collection of more than 862,000 books, and 16,000 magazine subscriptions.[14] The TU Delft Library is a founding partner of DataCite, a global network established to "improve access to research data on the Internet".[16] In 2017 the library started a data stewardship project focused on research data management.[17]


  • Cone during a winter sunset
    Cone during a winter sunset
  • Cone inside the library
    Cone inside the library
  • Book wall and study desks
    Book wall and study desks
  • Outside of the library
    Outside of the library


  1. ^ Stevens, Philip (2014-12-17). "interview with architect francine houben of mecanoo". Designboom. Archived from the original on 2021-04-11. Retrieved 2021-04-11.
  2. ^ "Het ontwerp". TU Delft (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 2021-04-09. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  3. ^ a b "Library Delft University of Technology". Mecanoo. Archived from the original on 2021-04-11. Retrieved 2021-04-11.
  4. ^ a b Campbell, James W.P. (2013). The library: A world history. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. pp. 284–285. ISBN 978-0-226-09281-2.
  5. ^ Michler, Andrew (7 March 2011). "Mecanoo's TU Delft Library Crowned With a Massive Green Roof". Inhabitat. Archived from the original on 2021-04-11. Retrieved 2021-04-11.
  6. ^ a b Velazquez, Linda (2012-01-11). "GPW: Delft University of Technology Library". Greenroofs. Archived from the original on 2021-04-09. Retrieved 2021-04-09.
  7. ^ van Egeraat, Erick. "Library of Technical University". Erick van Egeraat. Archived from the original on 2021-04-11. Retrieved 2021-04-11.
  8. ^ "Snow fun on the roof of the TU Delft Library". TU Delta (in Dutch). 7 February 2021. Archived from the original on 2021-04-14. Retrieved 2021-04-14.
  9. ^ Charleson, Andrew W. (2006). Structure as architecture. Routledge. p. 90. ISBN 978-1-136-36139-5.
  10. ^ Joosse, Martijn (2014-06-02). "Bijzondere boekenplekken: Universiteitsbibliotheek TU Delft". Mustreads (in Dutch). Archived from the original on 2021-04-13. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
  11. ^ "Central Library TU Delft". Archiweb. Archived from the original on 2021-04-13. Retrieved 2021-04-13.
  12. ^ Heylighen, Ann; Neuckermans, Herman (2000). "DYNAMO: A dynamic architectural memory on-line". Educational Technology & Society. 3 (2): 86–95. ISSN 1436-4522.
  13. ^ González, Lidia (2018-02-07). "Las bibliotecas modernas más alucinantes del mundo". Condé Nast Traveler (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 2021-04-12. Retrieved 2021-04-12.
  14. ^ a b Sang-hee Han, Rachel (12 July 2017). "7 of the world's most beautiful libraries". CNN. Archived from the original on 2021-04-07. Retrieved 2021-04-07.
  15. ^ Curvelo Magdaniel, Flavia Teresa de Jesus; den Heijer, Alexandra (October 2017). "International overview of the University Library as a central facility". ResearchGate. Retrieved 2021-04-11.
  16. ^ Mullins, James L. (16 February 2010). "Purdue Libraries a founding member of international cooperative to advance research". Purdue University. Archived from the original on 10 April 2021. Retrieved 10 April 2021.
  17. ^ Teperek, Marta; Cruz, Maria J.; Verbakel, Ellen; Böhmer, Jasmin K.; Dunning, Alastair (2018-01-22). "Data Stewardship – addressing disciplinary data management needs". Open Science Framework. doi:10.17605/OSF.IO/MJK9T.
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TU Delft Library
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