The Luisenbad library



Libraries are among my favourite places on the planet, and I’m lucky that one of Berlin’s best, the Luisenbad library, is in the northern suburb of Wedding, where I live. It’s reached by a dark path between a burger joint and a kebab shop, or by a walk along the Panke river. Both lead to a bright courtyard with an impressive neo-baroque building dating from 1888, the old tile lettering Kafe Küche still visible to the left of the entrance.

As the name – literally (Queen) Luise’s Bath – indicates, it was originally a public pool named after a Prussian queen; over the years it has been a restaurant, a coffee shop and a cinema. A protected building since 1978, it was extensively refurbished in 1995 by award-winning architects Rebecca Chestnutt and Robert Niess.

Today’s library is a friendly and bright space, with a large reading garden, a stucco-decorated “Cherub…

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