18. Tama Art University Library, Japan
Designed by award-winning Japanese architect Ito Toyo, the Hachioji Library at the Tama Art University in Japan is an exquisite work of design. Completed in 2007, the building is constructed of reinforced concrete arches and glass, allowing the contours of the rolling outdoors to meld with the seductive space inside. The second floor of the library offers open access stacks holding more than 100,000 books; in all, the collection holds more than 77,000 Japanese books, 47,000 foreign books and 1,500 periodicals, with (no surprise) an emphasis on art, design and architecture.