Categorized | For the love of books, News

No, THIS is the best set of bookshelves ever…

Posted on 07 August 2012 by Alice

I’ve written several posts about the best bookshelves in existence, but these really are the ultimate.

The designers at Japanese firm Kazuya Morita Architecture Studio were tasked with creating this library

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to house the owners’ collection of Islamic history books. And this is the amazing result, based on the structural design of Japanese Kumiko (a traditional woodcraft). Named ‘shelf-pod’, the structure’s box-like design has also been repeated in other rooms.

One of the designers describes Shelf-pod in his/her own words:

Shelf-Pod is a private residence and study building, located in Osaka prefecture, Japan. The client owns an extensive collection of books on the subject of Islamic history, so he requested that we create this building with the maximum capacity for its storage and exhibition.

In order to satisfy this demand effectively, we designed a lattice structure made from 25mm thick laminated pine-board which serve as book-shelves. The dimensions of each shelf are as follows: 360mm height, 300mm width and 300mm depth.

All of the architectural elements in this space (stairs, windows, desks, chairs, etc) have been designed on the basis of this shelf scale, with the aim of achieving geometrical harmony which is comparable to Islamic Architecture. This innovative structural system affords not only large amount of book storage, but the possibility of flexible floor level which can be delivered from every height of bookshelf. Each space for different activity rise up helically, giving the impression of exploring a wooden jungle gym.

The original image of this structure is derived from the Japanese woodcraft of Kumiko. The structural integrity against an earthquake is provided by a panel of plywood board nailed on the shelf. Initially, the horizontal resistant force guaranteed by the panels was examined in a real-scale model. Further to this, an analysis of the whole structure was performed in order to determine the placement of the windows and panels. The inter-locking laminated pine-board was manufactured precisely in advance and assembled on-site. Similarly, the pyramid-shaped roof was assembled on-site, from 12 pieces of prefabricated wooden roof panel. The completed roof has a thickness of only 230mm and sensitively covers the whole space like the dome of a Mosque.

In addition to its unique structure, the outer wall employs the construction techniques of a traditional Japanese storehouse Dozou. The bamboo net wall foundation layer was attached to the lattice structure and the clay and straw mixture was applied to the foundation by the trowel. Then the red cedar panels forms exterior wall. The interior clay wall was finished with white plaster. These techniques are in accordance with urban fireproofing specifications, as well

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as maintaining a suitably humid environment for the storage of books.

Islamic calligraphy on the wall, it is written in arabic, but the language is japanese and turkish. The biggest one, written as “kun-pu-tei”, means “istanbul house”, it is the name of the house and the others are turkish greetings.

Site : Osaka prefecture, JAPAN
Design : Kazuya Morita Architecture Studio / Kazuya Morita ,Issei Kawashima
Structure Engineer : Mitsuda Structural Consultant

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One Response to “No, THIS is the best set of bookshelves ever…”

  1. You just posted pictures of my dream house Alice – a house whose walls are lined with books from ceiling to floor. Heaven!