A Japanese House for an Islamic Scholar
We have covered houses for extreme bookworms here before (A Library as Habitation for a Serious Bookworm!) – but here is one that goes one step further than that – from Kazuya Morita Architecture Studio.
This Shelf-Pod house in Moriguchi City, Japan is designed for a scholar who specializes in Islamic history, and who owns a vast collection of books. The brief was to maximize the shelf space for storing books, and to create spaces in which perusing, browsing, studying, cross-referencing – and just plain all-out full-on burrowing into books – is enhanced.
Rather than waste any space with walls upon which to mount bookcases, the architect actually made all the interior walls of a lattice of two-way bookcases, with the opening to either one side or the other. The module “walls” can be rearranged, and even the floor levels can be changed. The entire structure of internal shelf-walls creates the playful impression of a wooden jungle gym.
Not only is every room a place to read books, but even the bathroom is just one more place to read books.
“All of the architectural elements in this space (stairs, windows, desks, chairs, etc) have been designed on the basis of this shelf scale” the firm notes on their site, “with the aim of achieving geometrical harmony which is comparable to Islamic Architecture”.
A further Islamic reference comes in the shape of the roof dome, which is a bit like a mosque. But the architect also draws on the engineering of old fashioned Japanese architecture.
The outer wall employs the construction techniques of the traditional Japanese storehouse, or 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 trowel.
Then red cedar panels form the exterior walls. The interior of the outer structure clay wall was finished with white plaster.
The architect turned to Japanese traditions to preserve the vast amount of paper in all the books, because these techniques create “a suitably humid environment for the storage of books.”