Berlin spoils you with great architecture. The library venue at Potsdamer Straße is such an example and one of the daughters of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin (StaBi). A younger one that is, since it was built in the mid 20th century, by Hans Scharoun, as part of the wider Kulturforum. The library collection is available to the large public with a library card, but one can always enter the lobby and have a rest among the readers. The comfortable chairs, on the right hand side, face big windows, with a view on both the Philharmonic, another Scharoun master piece and Mies van der Rohe’s National Gallery.
StaBi – focused, among others, on world wide academic research and historical prints – provides regular tours of the house (every 3rd Saturday of the month at Potsdamer Straße, reservation free) and exhibitions. One permanent highlight is the mixture of architecture with art: many works were designed particularly for this place from the beginning. The lamps hanging from the ceiling or the stained glass windows are some of the art works commissioned by Scharoun himself. The bull’s-eye windows and the spacious lobby areas give a hint about what particularly inspired the architect. Scharoun, a man coming from a town by the sea, made use of many ship elements. The long balustrades, the café and the original panel for lights are other such examples. They make you forget you are on land.
Tip: You can book a library tour (DE & EN) outside the regular ones, too.