The Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
A very special exhibit is now on view at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Titled 1:1 Architects Build Small Spaces, the V&A commissioned a group of international architects to build a series of structures throughout the Museum which respond to the theme of space as retreat.
The fundamental idea is of a small enclosed space representing an escape from the chaos of urban life to an area for peace, contemplation, shelter or creativity. Or, of course, reading.
To that end, the Scandinavian architecture firm Rintala and Eggertsson has built The Ark.
The Ark at the V&A Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi for the Guardian
Dagur Eggertsson writes of his firm and this project:
Rintala Eggertsson started two and a half years ago in Norway. I think there is a Scandinavian element in our work definitely. We conceive our ideas from our existence.
Bodø is the main town North of Norway is far above the Arctic Circle so there is no sunlight for two months but it’s very close to nature and it’s really a fantastic place to visit and an inspiration.
It’s the book store and the library on the second floor [of the V&A], so we wanted to connect those two parts of the museum with a book tower so that you could read the continuity from the stored books to the books that are sold and become eventually a part of every people’s life out there.
The tower is a bookcase in itself. The first thing you meet is the white backside of the books and they don’t reveal themselves until you get to the inside where you get the spine of the book. I think it is important for us to show that architecture is not a mystical thing but it’s about putting one stick on top of the other like every small child does in the beginning of their life.
Rintala Eggertsson Architects, Oslo and Bodø, Norway - Ark from Victoria and Albert Museum on Vimeo.
As far as I've been able to determine, The Ark is not yet covered on Bookshelfporn.com. Yes, you read correctly: Bookshelf Porn. The site is one hot cheesecake shot of bookshelves after another; a fetish site for book sluts, the book-laden bookshelf as centerfold. It's strictly va-va-voom, oh la la! and NSFW.
See you there. I'm the one in the raincoat, wearing shades, and with hat pulled down to maintain some semblance of anonymity and discretion. One cannot be too careful; a book offense on one's record could become the mark of Cain and rep as a "book molester" is a terrible burden to bear. Try getting a library card with that horrific scar forever in your digital dossier.
All I did was look a little too lovingly, really. The book was only "slightly rubbed." I'm innocent. (But the joints were so tender!).
With thanks to the Guardian for the lead.
Of related interest:
The Leaning Bookshelves of Deger Gengiz.
The Rolling Reader.