People in Maastricht sometimes refer to the Centre Céramique simply as “the public library” — which it is, but the building also includes exhibition rooms, two cafés, dozens of computer workplaces with free internet access, several soundproof rehearsal rooms for musicians, parts of the city archives and the European Journalism Center, which is on the top floor.
This strikingly beautiful modern building was designed, along with the entire new Céramique District on the site of an old ceramics factory, by the Dutch architect Jo Coenen (born 1949 in Heerlen). The building is located on the new public square Plein 1992 and is just a few meters from Knooppunt 2, the second node of the South Limburg network of bicycle routes.
To use a computer workplace you are given a log-in code. This is free, but there is a charge for other computer services such as printing. For those who bring their own laptops or other internet devices, there are numerous workplaces on four floors, and there is free wireless internet access throughout the building.
Most of the books in the library are of course in Dutch, but there are also books and especially periodicals in other languages.
The whole building is airy, roomy and bright — and it is air conditioned, which I much appreciated since I happened to be in Maastricht during a blistering August heat wave.
The Centre Céramique was built in the 1990s and has been open since 1999.
Address: Avenue Céramique 50, 6221 KV Maastricht
My photos in this post are from 2012. I revised the text in 2019.
See more posts on Maastricht, the southernmost city in the Netherlands.