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Madrid is getting a new public library and when I say you’ve never seen anything like it, I mean that in the truest definition of the phrase. The two halves of the building couldn’t be more different.

Designed by 3GATTI, the municipal library that will live in Villaverde has a plant-covered top and a transparent, glassed-in bottom floor. From above, it resembles Iceland’s traditional turf homes, but from the street, it would seem like you’re peering into a modern, almost futuristic, structure. Much like the turf homes I mentioned, the greenery has more function than just looking cool: It provides insulation that helps protect the building from heat during the summer.

The exterior styles dictate the activities happening on each floor, according to Designboom. Communal events and other noisy happenings take place on the transparent ground floor while the quieter moments for studying and reading happen in the plant-covered second floor. Just the thought alone of studying while surrounded by an exterior wall of plants is cozy.

Related: Inside the Most Beautiful Libraries on Earth

Also included in the plans are a handful of outdoor courtyards. From above, they appear as cut-outs in the main building. Throughout the top level, you’ll also find various light wells and chimneys built into the structure to help keep the rooms bright and airy.

Don’t get too excited yet; this is simply a plan as of now. But cross your fingers—what city couldn’t do with a bit more greenery sprinkled throughout its common areas?


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