Praise for the Library of Alexandria

“Both on representational and practical levels, the new Library of Alexandria will soon be recognized as one of the most significant architectural achievements of our times.”
––Richard Ingersoll for Architecture 10.2001

“It may be overly optimistic to claim that only through cultural operations on this scale can the terrain for international understanding be relocated, but it is undeniable that this new institution (Bibliotheca Alexandrina) will become one of the most significant humanist endeavors in the Middle East, one that transcends ideology, religion and ethnicity.”

“The project is at once highly original in structure and form, ingeniously planned for its urban position and impeccably assembled with high-quality materials and details.”

“The soft wooden surfaces (of the interior), the acid-stained bronze paneling and the benign glow of the filtered light contribute to a resounding sense of serenity, the sort of peace that I hope will spread elsewhere.”
––Richard Ingersoll on “Egypt’s greatest contemporary building” Domus, 03.2002

“The wonderful stepped volume of the reading room is undoubtedly one of the finest spatial experiences of our times. Alexandria’s new monument is just as powerful, but it is gentle, enveloping, generous, welcoming and multivalent.”
––Peter Davey for Architectural Review 8.1.2001

“As a vanity project, the Bibliotheca should have little trouble doing for Alexandria what the Opera House did for Sydney or, more recently, the Guggenheim Museum for Bilbabo. Its roof resembles a gigantic microchip 160 m. in diameter, to reflect the idea of conducting knowledge to Egypt and beyond, just as the original did.”
––Scott Macleod for Time magazine, International edition 6.12.2000

“Here at last is something so resolutely and uncompromisingly modern that the existing urban fabric recoils slightly. Breaking the cardinal rule of the modern architectural and urban planning canon, the Bibliotheca stands magnificently at odds with its surroundings, like a giant challenge the seems to say: “This is the benchmark, now go and build something better”.”
––Warren Singh Bartlett for Wallpaper 11.2005

View pictures

The Aga Khan Development network, The Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Photographs, submitted by the architect , that document the project, 2004 [link]

Bibliotheca Alexandrina [link]

Movie viewable on Windows Media Player, 2004
The Aga Khan Development network, The Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Video Presentation of Bibliotheca Alexandrina, A seven minute, high resolution video presentation of “Bibliotheca Alexandrina” [link]


Book Contribution

Fabrice Pataut: editor. La Nouvelle Bibliotheque d’Alexandrie. Paris, France: Buchet Chastel, 2003, May, 6th, ISBN 228301901 [link]


Christoph Kapeller. “The Architecture of the New Library of Alexandria”, The Massachusetts Review,
Vol. XLII, No.4, Winter 2001-2002: page 573-584.

Christoph Kapeller. “Die Bibliothek von Alexandria: der Projektleiter berichtet= The Library of Alexandria: the project manager reports” Bauwelt. June 15, v.92,n.23,p.30-37, ISSN 0005-6855.

Christoph Kapeller.”The New Library of Alexandria” Byggekunst: the Norwegian Review of Architecture. 2001,v.83,n.5,ISSN 0007-7518

Selected Bibliography (English)

Hana Alamuddin, “Technical Review of Bibliotheca Alexandrina”, Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Aga Khan Trust for Culture, 2004. [link]

Patricia Ward Biederman. “Rising from Ashes.” Los Angeles Times, Calendar Section, 2004, May. 19, s. part E, p. 4, 1076 words.

Daniel J. Wakin. “Successor to Ancient Library Dedicated.” The New York Times, 2002, Oct. 17, s. A, column 1, foreign desk, p.14, 772 words.

Chad Cohen, “Egypt Opens New Library of Alexandria”. National Geographic, 2002, Oct. 16
Leo Gullbring.”Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Alexandrie, Égypte, Snøhetta.” Architectured’aujourd’hui 2002 July-Aug.,n.341, p.30-31, ISSN 0003-8695.

Joseph Fitchett. “The Global Class: Alexandria Holds the Music.”International Herald Tribune.”2002, Apr. 18, s. feature, p.20, 191 words.

Richard Ingersoll.”Risorge la Bibloteca di Alessandria=Alexandria’s library reborn.” Domus 2002 Mar., n.846,p.[44]-61, ISSN 0012-5377.

“Snøhetta Hamza Consortium: new Library of Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt 2001.”A+U: architecture and urbanism. 2001 Nov., n.11(374),p.[24]-30, ISSN 0001-0316.

Richard Ingersoll et. al. “In Search of Lost Time: Snøhetta’s Alexandria Library.” Architecture. 2001 Oct., v.90,n.10,p.73-119, ISSN 0746-0554.

Peter Davey, “Bibliotheca Alexandrina-Brief Article”, The Architectural Review (UK), 2001, Sep.1 [link]

Peter Davey, “Library in Alexandria, Egypt / Train Stations in France”. The Architectural Review (UK), 2001, Aug.1 [link]

Erling Hoh, “Egyptian Tomes (Bibliotheca Alexandrina to be inaugurated in Egypt)”, Geographical, 2001, Apr. 1 [link]

Scott Macleod, “Recreating a Jewel” Time Magazine(Europe), 2000, Jun., 12. vol.155, n.23 [link]

Alexander Stille, Robert Polidori (photos) “Resurrecting Alexandria, Can Rebuilding the Great Library Also Redeem the City?” The New Yorker, 2000, May, 8. p.90-99 [link]

Todd Willmert, Soren Larson. “Mideast libraries bridge old and new.” Architectural Record. 2000 Mar., v.188, n.3, p.38, ISSN 0003-858X.

Selected Bibliography (German)

Karin Tschavgova “Ein Punkt im All.” Die Presse, Spektrum (Austria).2001, May, 5. [link]

“Sonnenscheibe und Computerchip.” Der Standard (Austria). 2002, Oct., 5. [link]

“Der Think-Tank der Antike.” NZZ am Sonntag, Neue Züricher Zeitung. 2004, Nov. 21. p.81, 1743 words.

Wolfgang Köhler.” Dem Tempel fehlen die Schätze; Die neue Bibliothek von Alexandria hat noch nicht viele Bücher. Aber einen kleinen Skandal gab es schon.” Frankfurter Allgemerine Sonntagszeitung (Germany). 2004, Jan., 11. s. Politik, p.12. 1147 words.

Architecture and Polyphony: Building in the Islamic World Today, Thames & Hudson (UK), 2005, Apr., ISBN 0500285336.

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