I spent all day on Tuesday at the Seattle Central Library for a workshop. I’d never been there before. I heard so many things about it and was looking forward to seeing it myself. It is an interesting, evocative place. My introduction to it was this red hallway. I entered the library (a giant glass pyramid-like structure) before it opened and was shuffled to the fourth floor. When I stepped out of the elevator I found myself in a very red hallway. It was quite shocking. As my workshop wore on all day I had plenty of time to experience this red hallway. It evoked a strong response from me, one that I didn’t like. I found the blood-red color frightening. Then I noticed that the hallway had no corners. There is something very disarming about that. As I thought about it I realized that being in this dark, red, angle-less hallway made me feel like I was being swallowed by something.
It was very weird.
At lunch I had some time to walk around the rest of the library. The artwork in the Green Escalator was especially weird. As was the Books Spiral. I didn’t get a photo of that but the concept is interesting. The Non-Fiction collection is shelved in such a way that it spirals down through the building a few floors. Here is a photo that can illustrate what is going on to a certain extent. However, it really is something that one should go and experience themselves.
As I was wandering through I couldn’t help but feel like I was in a very surreal dream. I often have dreams (sometimes nightmares) in which I wander through a large institutional building. Being in this building was like something straight out of my dreams.