Book Tower


[Images: House in Venice, California, by Bureau AA; photos by Larry Underhill].

This small and breezy house in Venice, California, designed by Robert Choeff and Krystyan Keck of the Bureau of Architectural Affairs, was completed in April 2009.


[Image: House in Venice, California; photo courtesy of Bureau AA].

The house’s transparent polycarbonate cladding, used to “expose the interactions” of the building elements, makes the house function like “a structural X-ray,” we read in a recent issue of Mark Magazine.

Tight quarters, a tight budget and further restrictions—including a height limit and required setbacks—navigated the architects toward their design solution: a 54-square-meter trapezoid perched above the existing structure on steel stilts, topped by a roof deck with views in all directions.

I’m reminded here of Francois Perrin’s Guest House for an Anthropologist, itself also very biblio-intensive: both are houses of exposed wood and polycarbonate, with lots of things to read.


[Image: House in Venice, California, by Bureau AA; photo by Larry Underhill].

The interior of the house seems solidly locked in place: “the upper story has no doors,” we read, “and its only piece of freestanding furniture is the dining table. Lean work desks and kitchen counters hug the perimeter, and built-in storage spaces double, discreetly, as screens.” This includes the bookshelves.

“Where there isn’t cabinetry and Sheetrock,” Mark Magazine adds, “there’s a window.”


[Images: Courtesy of the Bureau of Architectural Affairs].

I would feel compelled to add curtains, I’m afraid, and I would probably be a bit nervous with all those books over my head during an earthquake, but with a few minor adjustments I might put in an order for one, too, please…

10 thoughts on “Book Tower”

  1. This has got nothing on my parents' place, bookwise. Nothing, I tell you!

    Much more in keeping with the title of the post: this exhibition inspired by Hrabal. Or indeed Hrabal's novel itself, speaking of the fear of being buried under one's books.

  2. more amazing architecture to wrestle with… thank you.
    actually i wanted to ask you a question, presumptuous as it is for a total stranger to approach you with her arcana… but i'm interested in creating a large kite form based on the form of a catafalque. I've been researching this structure, but have found little of use… I wonder if you have run across any amazing archives or interesting examples…
    thanks
    Jane D. Marsching
    janemarsching.com

  3. Cool. I saw this being built last year but forgot about it. I'm glad to see the finished product, I'll have to drive by and check it out.

Leave a Reply