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Book Sphere. Featured micro-library project

11 of August '23
w skrócie
  1. Paula Smolka of the Katowice Academy of Fine Arts created Sphere of Books, a micro-library promoting reading and bookcrossing. The project received an honorable mention in the Portable Reading Rooms competition.
  2. The micro-library takes the form of a sphere made of plywood modules, allowing for easy assembly and transportation. Inside the facility, there are comfortable seats to encourage reading books on the spot.
  3. As an additional element, the author designed satellites along the lines of the main object. They can be used as seats or display elements.
  4. For more interesting information, visit the home page of the A&B portal

{tag:studenci} studying design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, designed a micro-library made of modules in the form of a sphere that can be placed in any public space. Her Book Sphere project promoting the idea of bookcrossing received an honorable mention in the Portable Reading Rooms competition of the Buildner platform.

This was the second edition of the competition organized in cooperation with the MArch Valencia School of Architecture. The task of the competition was to make versatile, small objects—reading rooms that can be placed in various public spaces around the world.

Sfera Książki może stanąć w dowolnej przestrzeni publicznej

The Book Sphere can stand in any public space

© Paula Smolka

The proposed reading rooms were to function as an intimate space where people can read and exchange books. The facilities, thanks to their versatility, were to function in any climate and at any time of the year. The organizers suggested that the functionality of the reading rooms could change over the course of the year, for example, during the colder months they could be just a place to exchange books, while during the warmer days they could change into interactive facilities.

Participants had full creative freedom, in terms of the design and operation of the proposed reading room. It was important to use environmentally friendly materials, and the facility itself could be an open or closed form. The goal: to popularize reading.

We wnętrzu znajdują się też szerokie siedziska

The interior also features wide seats

© Paula Smolka

project from Poland awarded!

The works submitted for the competition were evaluated by a jury consisting of: Rami Bebawi (KANV, Canada), Nancy Beka (Studio Edwards, Australia), Fernando Brun el (Balparda Brunel Oficina de Arquitectura—BBOA, Argentina), Dan Dorocic (ON/OFF, Germany), Nicole McIntosh (Architecture Office, Switzerland), Martin Olivera (TATŪ Arquitectura, Uruguay), Fran Silvestre (Fran Silvestre Arquitectos, Spain), Rogelio Vallejo Bores (HW Studio, Mexico), Cristina Verissimo (CVDB arquitectos, Portugal). Four grand prizes, a scholarship and six honorable mentions were awarded. First Prize went to a team from Canada from the Agence Spatiale studio.

Among the honorable mentions was the Book Sphere project, created by Paula Smolka as a semester assignment in the Public Space Design Studio at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice. Earlier, in 2022, the concept won an award in the "Arting" competition in the Bielsko-Biala category.

Dodatkowym elementem są satelity na których można siedzieć

Additional elements include satellites on which one can sit

© Paula Smolka

spherical microbibliotheque

The awarded project Book Sphere is a publicly accessible micro-library, which can be located anywhere in public space. The spherical form was designed by the author in the spirit of the idea of bookcrossing, or free exchange of books.

This idea is based on the assumption that literature should be widely distributed in public space, giving books a second life and at the same time popularizing reading, Paula Smolka adds.

The structure's design allows it to be filled with successive layers of books, which can be reached both from the outside and from the inside, where the author additionally introduced wide seats to encourage reading on the spot.

Sfera Książki, rysunki techniczne

Book Sphere, technical drawings

© Paula Smolka

sphere made of plywood modules

The sphere is built from vertical and horizontal plywood modules, which allows for simple installation of the object in various locations (for example, the interior of a library, a shopping mall, a park), easy transportation, as well as minimizing additional assembly elements. Appropriately prepared modules are connected to each other on a sliding basis.

Completing the sphere are smaller forms—satellites, which encourage the use of the micro-library. The author made them along the lines of the main object, giving the possibility of sitting on them and reading, as well as additional display of books. They are made from a sheet of waste plywood after cutting out the main elements.

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