written by:
March 21, 2013
Who says libraries must be dusty, solemn affairs? Libraries of today can be big, small, architecturally-placed, temporary, or hidden away behind a rolling track door. Here we've rounded up a few samples to suit every taste from the Dwell archive.
Stereo and shelving near Ellsworth, Maine

Peter Cohen and his wife, Sally, sit in the connected dining-living room, which is a focal point of their Maine home. Lighted in part by high, remote-controlled clerestory windows, the low shelving unit that divides the two spaces incorporates audio components as well. Photo by: Mark Mahaney

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Originally appeared in The Right Track
1 / 8
coil house, staircase, tokyo, japan

In most multistory homes, stairs connect floors. But in the 921-square-foot Coil House, located in a quiet residential neighborhood in Tokyo, they are the floors and a series of bookshelves integrated into living spaces. Photo by: Koichi Torimura

Originally appeared in Stacked
2 / 8
The main living room, separated by a freestanding wall, continues into an open study. The bookshelves, close to ten feet tall, are home to numerous architectural books, philosophy texts, and the literary work of Ayn Rand. Recessed speakers emanate music t

A less permanent, though no less effective, solution are the ten-foot-tall bookshelves on a freestanding wall of a luminous retreat in Salt Lake City. They're home to numerous architectural books and philosophy texts, and recessed speakers emanate music throughout, dependent on the wills of Jespersens' iPod. Photo by: Zubin Shroff

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Originally appeared in Modern Awakening
3 / 8
With exposed industrial materials for finishes, the interior includes hand-troweled, waxed concrete floors, Douglas fir beams, and sealed-plywood ceilings.

Architect and married couple Peter and Hadley Arnold combined two adjoining properties in a Los Angeles canyon to house their modernist menagerie. With exposed industrial materials for finishes, the interior includes hand-troweled, waxed concrete floors, Douglas fir beams, and sealed-plywood ceilings. Photo by: Catherine Ledner

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Originally appeared in Compound Addition
4 / 8
Dan Garness used paint and well-placed windows to keep Duane’s office bright and airy.

Architectural designer Dan Garness used orange paint and well-placed windows to keep his client’s office bright and airy. (An extra-tall ceiling height doesn't hurt.) Photo by: Shawn Records

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Originally appeared in Coast Docs
5 / 8
Throughout the house, built-in storage and shelving is cleverly positioned in alcoves and recesses, as in the dining area, which allows clutter to be easily cleared away.

Throughout a slim house wedged into an eight-foot gap in London's Notting Hill neighborhood, built-in storage and shelving is cleverly positioned in alcoves and recesses, as in the dining area, which allows clutter to be easily cleared away. Photo by: Charlie Crane

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Originally appeared in A Slender Geothermal Cottage in London
6 / 8
Molina and Turin combined angle and bar aluminum from Industrial Metal Supply Company and wheels from Pro-Fit Cabinet Hardware to 
design a custom track for a sliding door/projection screen fashioned 
out of two hollow-core doors from Stock Building Suppl

Architectural designers Louis Molina and Laurent Turin of Good Idea Studio revamped a tiny, dilapidated 1923 clapboard house as their office-slash-apartment. Here combined angle and bar aluminum from Industrial Metal Supply Company and wheels from Pro-Fit Cabinet Hardware to design a custom track for a sliding door/projection screen that hides their bookshelves and media cabinet. Photo by: Heather Culp

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Originally appeared in Echo Chamber
7 / 8
Ben’s office contains an impressive reference library for his inventory of antiquarian books.

Sometimes, simple is the best route, especially when displaying an impressive collection that hogs the spotlight. Here, homeowner Ben Kinmont's inventory of antiquarian books housed in a concrete prefab construction in California. Photo by: Dave Lauridsen

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Originally appeared in Fertile Grounds
8 / 8
Stereo and shelving near Ellsworth, Maine

Peter Cohen and his wife, Sally, sit in the connected dining-living room, which is a focal point of their Maine home. Lighted in part by high, remote-controlled clerestory windows, the low shelving unit that divides the two spaces incorporates audio components as well. Photo by: Mark Mahaney

Photo by Mark Mahaney.

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