Not only book lovers but anyone will be overwhelmed by the glorious, elegant and modern design of Starfield Open library. Before being named as Starfield, this library has been long referred to as the Open Library because it was designed in the style of open space, high ceilings with lots of entrances, no gates, no doors, no physical boundaries and no security controls (anti book thieves, for example).
With an area of 2800m2 and a large collection of about 50,000 titles of books and magazines (including e-books), Starfield library goes far beyond the criteria of an ordinary library as it offers a giant splendid public space, and completely free. In addition to coming there for book reading, information searching or to work, local Koreans and tourists also use it to relax, rest while shopping or to catch-up with friends.
The most unique feature of this library is three enormous 2 story bookshelves filled with books (approx. 13m high), located right in the middle of a large space brightened up by natural lights thanks to the well designed glass dome. The serene colors of wooden equipment (bookshelves, chairs, tables and floors) create a harmonious, cozy yet modern look for the library.
In addition to the wooden chairs scattered in the library, there are also comfortable sofas for your group’s chats. Large armchairs in small corners create a quiet place to help you enjoy your favorite book. On the second floor, the library also has rows of desks with full power sockets, including docked ipads used to read e-books or search online information.
It is quite obvious that not all of the books are for reading since they are displayed in super high shelves without any ladder or any tool to reach them. For foreigners, reading books in this library is also a challenge as most of the books and magazines are in Korean. Therefore, as many visitors, I just came here to admire the beauty of the Library, rather than to read a book.
The Starfield Library also organizes monthly cultural events, book introductions and commentary, performances with different topics or a place to display art works. All of these services and activities are completely free.
Another interesting thing is that Starfield Library is located inside Coex Shopping complex, which is rated as the largest underground shopping mall in Asia. Not only are there countless stores for devotees shopping from clothes, shoes, accessories to cosmetics, electronics, and home appliances, Coex also has the largest Megabox Cineplex cinema chain in Korea with 17 screens, Kimchi Museum, COEX Aquarium, ASEM Plaza, Seoul’s event hall and the most luxurious dining restaurants.
- Address : Located on B1 floor of Coex Shopping Mall, 06164 513 Yeongdeung-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (COEX)
- How to get there: Samseong Station on Railway Line 2, exit number 6.
- Opening hours: 10:30 ~ 22:00
- Administration fee: Free
- Time to visit : 30 minutes – 1 hour just to visit the entire library, if you want to read a book or relax, you can sit there as long as you want.
Back to the main article “Seoul – a puzzle of contrasts”
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