Living Library: Marvelous Home with Multi-Story Bookcases
It would be easy to mistake this large private residence for a most public branch library. Stacked shelving and packed bookcases (featuring thousands of volumes) reach up three floors in the main open-plan interior volume, sandwiched between giant panels of heavily-reinforced pre-cast concrete.
A series of floating metal mesh walkways and suspended concrete staircases weave been different levels. Each floor is left incomplete, with gaps and voids allowing views and light to pass up and down. Reading and work rooms are located on upper levels where privacy is deemed not to be a problem, while day-to-day cooking and dining take place on the ground floor, out of public view.
The house is successful on many levels (no pun intended). It manages to make use of a notoriously cold and impersonal material without compromising the sense that this is a comfortable dwelling. The design also emphasizes openness and light but manages to make cozy enclosed spaces along the sides and a human-scaled first floor at the same time.