Born of the “Libraries for All” bond measure, which provided the Seattle Library System a whopping $196 million budget, the central branch is an 11-floor, 362,987-square-foot architectural titan. Designed by Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus, the building was the first major design by Koolhaas in the U.S., and went on to win the 2005 national AIA Honor Award for Architecture. Koolhaas later received the coveted Pritzker Award, commonly referred to as architecture’s Nobel Prize. Scope out the unique design for yourself, and while you’re at it, help yourself to one of the more than 1 million books, movies, and recordings in circulation. 1000 Fourth Ave., 386-4636
First runner-up: Smith Tower
Second runner-up: EMP
Honorable mention: Arctic Club Hotel Building, Bullitt Center
Read about the rest of the Best of Seattle Reader Poll winners here. If you didn’t get a chance to vote this go-round, make sure your voice is heard next year. Email us at email@example.com and we will let you know when nominations open for BoS 2017.