Book Tower


[Images: House in Venice, California, by Bureau AA; photos by Larry Underhill].

This small and breezy house in Venice, California, designed by Robert Choeff and Krystyan Keck of the Bureau of Architectural Affairs, was completed in April 2009.


[Image: House in Venice, California; photo courtesy of Bureau AA].

The house's transparent polycarbonate cladding, used to "expose the interactions" of the building elements, makes the house function like "a structural X-ray," we read in a recent issue of Mark Magazine.
    Tight quarters, a tight budget and further restrictions—including a height limit and required setbacks—navigated the architects toward their design solution: a 54-square-meter trapezoid perched above the existing structure on steel stilts, topped by a roof deck with views in all directions.
I'm reminded here of Francois Perrin's Guest House for an Anthropologist, itself also very biblio-intensive: both are houses of exposed wood and polycarbonate, with lots of things to read.


[Image: House in Venice, California, by Bureau AA; photo by Larry Underhill].

The interior of the house seems solidly locked in place: "the upper story has no doors," we read, "and its only piece of freestanding furniture is the dining table. Lean work desks and kitchen counters hug the perimeter, and built-in storage spaces double, discreetly, as screens." This includes the bookshelves.

"Where there isn't cabinetry and Sheetrock," Mark Magazine adds, "there's a window."


[Images: Courtesy of the Bureau of Architectural Affairs].

I would feel compelled to add curtains, I'm afraid, and I would probably be a bit nervous with all those books over my head during an earthquake, but with a few minor adjustments I might put in an order for one, too, please...

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Blogger Darrell Soho said...

Thanks! You've just given me a new bldg to stalk.

February 01, 2010 12:21 PM  
Anonymous Bill Randall said...

Delightful building-- not as book intensive, but I'm reminded of Ando's Shiba Ryotaro Memorial Museum my favorite book-building. So it's a museum & not a house, but the books are Shiba's collection.

And might be a touch worse in an earthquake.

February 01, 2010 1:21 PM  
Blogger braden pemberton said...

reminds me of the shed made out of books in dresden, prior to the firebombing, in the novel incredibly loud and extremely close by johnathan safran froer.

February 01, 2010 2:06 PM  
Blogger Ben Brockert said...

I'm kind of surprised that it passes fire code. Sheetrock is a fireblock, all those exposed rafters would go foom.

February 01, 2010 2:19 PM  
Blogger noisemaker said...

What material are the windows made from? UV is not great for paper. At the very least the spines will get sun-bleached.

February 01, 2010 3:26 PM  
Blogger tino said...

good call, mr. pemberton (but the one in the novel was prettier methinks)!

February 01, 2010 8:05 PM  
Blogger Giovanni said...

This has got nothing on my parents' place, bookwise. Nothing, I tell you!

Much more in keeping with the title of the post: this exhibition inspired by Hrabal. Or indeed Hrabal's novel itself, speaking of the fear of being buried under one's books.

February 01, 2010 8:32 PM  
Blogger JaneM said...

more amazing architecture to wrestle with... thank you.
actually i wanted to ask you a question, presumptuous as it is for a total stranger to approach you with her arcana... but i'm interested in creating a large kite form based on the form of a catafalque. I've been researching this structure, but have found little of use... I wonder if you have run across any amazing archives or interesting examples...
thanks
Jane D. Marsching
janemarsching.com

February 01, 2010 9:49 PM  
Blogger Kevin Clement said...

Cool. I saw this being built last year but forgot about it. I'm glad to see the finished product, I'll have to drive by and check it out.

February 03, 2010 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

It's amazing what a collection of books can do for interior design. They instantly add color and depth.

February 03, 2010 10:06 PM  
Blogger DaveX said...

Replace 90% of those books with LPs, and I'm there!

February 05, 2010 10:58 AM  

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