There was plenty that was impressive about this library – the geometric shapes, the Egyptian temple/Mycenaean entrance, the frieze, the colour (Swedes seem fond of these warm shades) – but it was the interior that was really breathtaking. You go through the enormous portal into a black stucco interior with reliefs from Homer . . . and then the library opens out into an enormous rotunda:
It’s not the most utilitarian use of the area, I admit, but it’s definitely a statement. This is another Gesamtkunstwerk: Gunnar Asplund designed much of the furniture and fittings. Somehow the vertical spines of the books add to the decoration of the whole. I thought it was wonderful.