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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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