The best materials libraries in the world

Materials research is constantly evolving. In a society which is becoming more technically advanced, innovative materials that challenge design are emerging, such as biological materials and new plastics. To make research and the adaptation of materials to projects easier, materiotecas, or archives of materials where you can find everything you need, were born.  Today we are taking a look at a few that you should get familiar with.

Material Connexion

With 20 years of experience and seven different international locations, including some in Milan, New York, and Bilbao, Material ConneXion is at the top of our list of the best materials libraries.  With almost 6,500 samples, it is the biggest materials archive in the world, and the most innovative brands use it to develop their projects.  A highlight is their Materials Village which you can experience at Milan Design Week, the London Design Festival, and also at maison & Objet.


A well-known Dutch materials library conceived with the objective to stimulate and inspire architects and designers to use new materials.  Its collection contains over 2,600 references and the website is free to consult.

Material Driven

This London materials library pays special attention to sustainable materials, which is in line with the current trend towards a more environmentally-friendly construction industry.  Recently we saw them demonstrating the possibilities for experimental materials at the Materials for Architecture exhibition.


French matériO is an independent professional network dedicated to new materials and technologies that offers a physical library with thousands of samples of innovative materials and a large online database.

COAM Material Library

The headquarters of the Official College of Architects of Madrid, COAM, contains the largest materioteca in Spain, with more than 700m2 of floorspace which is accessible to architects and interior designers.  Apart from the more than 1,000 materials organised according to finish, fitting-out, solutions, and structural work, they also consult and exhibit innovative projects.

While you’re deciding which library you will visit next, you can consult their digital databases, take virtual tours like that of COAM, as well take a look at Pinterest boards like Material Driven Design‘s.


COAM material library