Toronto's Story Pod Doubles as a Lending Library and Community Hub
Conceived as a community project, the Story Pod is an inventive gathering spot for learning and engagement created by the efforts of both private and public supporters. Atelier Kasteli Buffey completed the architecture and design pro bono. HollisWealth provided funds for construction, while Scholastic Publishing and the Newmarket Public Library supplied the initial collection of books. Story Pod is a shining example of the positive impact that design, in conjunction with community support, can have on a urban environment.
The construct is compact, sustainable, simple to build, and easy to transport. Pure and simple in form, the 8' x 8' x 10' box is composed from standard dimensions of plywood and lumber, minimizing construction waste. During daytime hours, two walls open like a book, inviting the community to venture inside. At night, the library sits as a closed box and glows from within like a lantern, powered by concealed rooftop solar panels above.
Wrapped in vertical wooden slats spaced at varying widths, the black exterior opens to a warm interior clad in veneer plywood. Stacks of books fill the largest widths, while built-in seating provides refuge for getting lost in the books or the observation of the civic center. The wooden slats overlay clear polycarbonate plastic panels that create views inward and outward, engaging the curiosity of those passing by.