Monday, July 16, 2012

Designing space for Books

Love of Books
I remember growing up, we never used to step on a paper or a book because the book or this object symblolizes as  Hindu Goddess Saraswati, a keeper of the knowledge.  Godeess Saraswati is generally depicted with four arms, two front hands playing a Veena ( an Indian string instrument) and two hands carrying rosary and a book. The book represents learning, knowledge and wisdom. All Indian myth asides, books play very important role in our lives. We all have books which we have collected thought our life and we do not want to part with them. We create closet space for our clothes and shoes but keep forgetting to design or allocate the space for books.

Storing Books
After setting all the rooms and furnitures, we put up a shelf or a series of shelves and some might have a separate room dedicated for books and office work. In any case, the books have to be stored properly and should be accessible. Once in a while, while designing for homes, architects come up with few creative ideas to store and retrieve the books for their clients especially those owning tons of books and are book lovers. Check out the two unique solutions below.

Example 1- An architecture firm "Levitate" in London designed the Bookcase Staircase in a Victorian home providing loft space as a library and a secret stair case lined up with the books and the skylight above. They used the spaces between the stair treads and the walls around the stair to store the books. Look at the photo below-

BOOKS STAIRCASE- designed and photographed by Levitate

Example-2  The German architect "Kraus-Schoenberg"designed this book shelf as a main feature of the house. It is centrally located and looks like a central fire place in the middle, providing warmth for occupants on both the floors. See the photo as shown below-

Book Shelf, Centrally Located and visually connected form every room, designed by Kaus-Schoenbergt and
Photo Credit -
I want to post about the innovative design of one library in the next post, but let me leave you all with a small paragraph describing the importance of books from an author, Anne Lamott.

"For some of us, books are important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die. They are full of all the things that you don’t get in real life—wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. And quality of attention: we may notice amazing details during the course of a day but we rarely let ourselves stop and pay attention"

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