Tag Archives: libraries

A Look Inside Europe’s Most Enchanting Libraries by Photographer Thibaud Poirier 

Trinity College Library, Dublin, 1732

Over the last year, photographer Thibaud Poirier has traveled across Europe to photograph some of the world’s most incredible libraries. The series includes both historic and contemporary libraries with a special emphasis on the varied designs employed by architects. Poirier captured each image when the buildings were closed and empty of people to focus entirely on structure and layout. From his statement about the project:

Like fingerprints, each architect crafted his vision for a new space for this sacred self-exploration. These seemingly minute details are everywhere, from the balance of natural and artificial light to optimise reading yet preserve ancient texts to the selective use of studying tables to either foster community or encourage lonely reflection. The selection of these libraries that span space, time, style and cultures were carefully selected for each one’s unique ambiance and architectural contribution.

So far Poirier has photographed 25 libraries and says he intends to add to the series as time permits. If you liked this, also check out his Berlin Interiors series.

Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève, Paris, 1850

Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Salle Labrouste, Paris, 1868

Bibliothèque de l’Hotel de Ville de Paris, Paris, 1890

Grimm Zentrum Library, Berlin, 2009

Stadtbibliothek, Stuttgart, 2011

Bibliothèque de la Sorbonne, Salle Jacqueline de Romilly, Paris, 1897

Biblioteca Joanina, Coimbra, 1728

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Nine Artist-Designed Miniature Book Sharing Libraries Appear in Indianapolis 

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Nautilus, 2015, Katie Hudnall. Plywood, reclaimed wood, wood, fasteners & hardware, plexiglass, paint, ink, dye, lacquer, wax with two ink on paper drawings framed in wood by the artist.

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Nautilus, side view.

Engaging new audiences and attracting people to libraries in 2015 can be tough, but some libraries are up to the challenge. As a way to simultaneously improve literacy and foster an appreciation for local artists, the Indianapolis Public Library and artist Rachel M. Simon conceived the Public Collection, an endeavor to create nine artist-desiged miniature libraries filled with free books.

While the idea of free sharing libraries in urban locations isn’t new (we’ve mentioned several different projects here on Colossal over the years), this project seems particularly ambitious and original by highlighting the sculptural works of Indiana artists and by providing a diverse selection of reading material free to the public.

Perhaps the most ambitious design was built by artist Brian McCutcheon. Titled ‘Monument,’ the five pillar library supports a physical construction of the famous Mark Twain quote: “A public library is the most enduring of memorials, the trustiest monument for the preservation of an event or a name or an affection; for it, and it only, is respected by wars and revolutions, and survives them.” The base of each pillar contains a circular shelf where passersby can take and leave books as they wish.

Our personal favorite though is ‘Nautilus,’ a spiral-shaped shelf and reading bench built from reclaimed wood by Katie Hudnall. She says “the body of this piece is loosely derived from the image of a boat on water and is designed to remind the viewer that books (and education in general) can be a form of transportation.”

You can see all of the new Public Collection sharing library designs on-site at the Indianapolis Public Library. (via GOOD)

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Monument, 2015, Brian McCutcheon. Steel, aluminum, polycarbonate, fiberglass composite, paint.

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Monument, alternate view.

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Harvesting Knowledge, 2015, Brose Partington. Steel, Aluminum, Polycarbonate, Stepper Motor, Controller.

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Topiary, 2015, Eric Nordgulen. Painted steel, acrylic plastic.

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Table of Contents, 2015, Stuart Hyatt & S + Ca. Reclaimed wood, electronics.

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A Library That Plummets into an Abyss by Susanna Hesselberg for Sculpture by the Sea 

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Susanna Hesselberg, “When My Father Died It Was Like a Whole Library Had Burned Down” (2015) / Photo by Claire Voon for Hyperallergic

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For her entry into the biannual Sculpture by the Sea in Aarhus, Denmark, Swedish artist Susanna Hesselberg installed this ominous library that plumments into the ground like a mining shaft. While visually arresting, the piece has a somewhat somber intention. Titled “When My Father Died It Was Like a Whole Library Had Burned Down,” the artwork makes reference to lyrics from Laurie Anderson’s song World Without End. The piece joins an additional 55 sculptures on display right now at the 2015 Sculpture by the Sea through July 5, 2015. (via Hyperallergic)

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The Visually Stunning ‘Tesseract’ Scene in Interstellar was Filmed on a Physically Constructed Set 

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Spoiler alert. One of the most jaw-dropping moments of Christopher Nolan’s 2014 film Interstellar is the climactic moment when Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) enters a visually stunning environment that allows him to physically communicate through time using gravity. In the movie, the scene is manifested as a small library in his home that appears to infinitely repeat with versions of every moment that has ever occurred there. Essentially it’s a cube in four dimensions. Here’s a pretty good explanation of how it works:

The Tesseract is a means of communication for the bulk beings to express action through gravity with NASA. The bulk beings can perceive five dimensions as opposed to four, able to see every moment in the past, present, and future as well as influence gravity within any of those time frames. […] The tesseract allowed Cooper to communicate with Murphy Cooper [his daughter] in various time periods, presenting time itself as a dimension rather than linear. Everything is linked by the strings of time, which Cooper can manipulate. The beings made this comprehensible to Cooper by allowing him to physically interact with the Tesseract.

The idea of the tesseract scene alone was so daunting to the filmmakers, Nolan and his special effects team procrastinated for months before trying to tackle how it might work. After months of concepting and model building the team opted for the unusual approach of using minimal digital effects in favor of fabricating a massive set which the actors could physically manipulate. A remarkable feat considering not only the complexity of the concepts depicted, but the cost and labor of building something so large.

Included here are some shots of the set, a behind-the-scenes interview with Nolan and a number of people from the visual effects team explaining how it was done, and lastly the scene itself. You can watch even more of it here. (via Fubiz)

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The Free Little Library by Stereotank 

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Recently installed in New York’s Nolita neighborhood the Free Little Library is a temporary outdoor shelving unit that functions as a free library. The clever design protects the books from the weather while allowing people to duck under a cover to see what’s available. The library was designed by Venezuelan design firm Stereotank as part of a collaboration with the Architectural League of New York and the Pen World Voices Festival who have selected 10 designers to build miniature free libraries in downtown Manhattan through September. Can’t wait to see the rest. (via designboom)

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A Library Slide by Moon Hoon 

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Architect Moon Hoon recently designed the Panorama House (scroll down), in Chungcheongbuk-do, South Korea. One of the most unique features incorporated into the home is a wooden slide built directly into a library which also functions as a stair-stepped home theater seating area. Via the architect:

The basic request of upper and lower spatial organization and the shape of the site promoted a long and tin house with fluctuating facade which would allow for more differentiated view. The key was coming up with a multi-functional space which is a large staircase, bookshelves, casual reading space, home cinema, slide and many more. The client was very pleased with the design, and the initial design was accepted and finalized almost instantly, only with minor adjustments. The kitchen and dining space is another important space where family gathers to bond. The TV was pushed away to a smaller living room. The attic is where the best view is possible, it is used as a play room for younger kids. The multi-use stair and slide space brings much active energy to the house, not only children, but also grown ups love the slide staircase. An action filled playful house for all ages.

See many more interior and exterior photos over on Contemporist. (via soft shock)

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