Reading Chambers

I’ve been thinking a lot about reading spaces recently…

Rintala Eggertsson Architects will be building a tower of books for the exhibition, which will be located at the bottom of the National Art Library staircase. As a re-evaluation of notions of the ‘archive’, the tower will extend to three storeys, and when on the top level you will have a view straight into the National Art Library’s reading room – itself, of course, one of the Museum’s natural destination for moments of retreat and refuge.

While researching my introductory essay for the ‘1:1′ exhibition catalogue, I’ve been spending a few days in the RIBA’s fantastic British Architectural Library. One of my favourite aspects of the library are the little niches of bookshelves (images above), with individual study desks. I found myself momentarily distracted…this is exactly the sort of immersive atmosphere I want to create in the Rintala Eggertsson book tower, which will have a series of intimate reading chambers on each of the levels.

 

To continue the theme, last weekend I went to visit Osterley Park House, and on the road leading up to the gate I stumbled upon a gorgeous little bookshop, jam-packed with shelves, overflowing with second-hand paperbacks (see above and below). Perfect as inspiration for the ‘1:1′ book tower. We’re currently trying to source the books for the tower, and we are hoping that we’ll be able to partner up with some book dealers or bookshops who can supply the approx. 6,000 books needed for our 3-storey reading tower!

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