Toronto-based architectural practice Atelier Kastelic Buffey (AKB) has brought a whole new dimension to the town of Newmarket, an historical suburb of Toronto. The Story Pod is a community-supported pop-up library with a pure, simple form that belies a deeply thoughtful approach to architecture.

Story Pod - Miniature Library in the suburb of Toronto - 01The Story Pod (Photography by Bob Gundu)

The abstract, black box-like structure measuring 8 feet in width, 8 feet in depth and 10 feet in height serves as a book exchange and a landmark in the town of Newmarket, drawing curious residents from nearby Main Street and an adjacent riverside walking trail.

Story Pod - Miniature Library in the suburb of Toronto - 02 Pop-up library in open position (Photography by Bob Gundu)

As users move around the box, the rhythm of its vertical slats changes. The tightest spacing articulates opaque walls; the larger gaps, backed by transparent Lexan, allow light and views to filter through; and the widest openings display the book stacks, encouraging eager readers to enter.

Story Pod - Miniature Library in the suburb of Toronto - 03Library is created at the edge of a recently completed civic square (Photography by Shai Gil)

During the day, two of the walls pivot open like the covers of a book, welcoming people inside or to gather around the front.  Visitors can take or leave something to read, or lounge quietly on the built-in seating.

Story Pod - Miniature Library in the suburb of Toronto - 04 Open walls inviting people to explore the book collection (Photography by Bob Gundu)

Story Pod - Miniature Library in the suburb of Toronto - 05 Kids enjoying a nice afternoon read (Photography by Shai Gil)

Story Pod - Miniature Library in the suburb of Toronto - 06

At night, when the doors are locked, recessed, energy efficient LED lights, powered by concealed, self-sustaining solar panels on the roof, glow through the lattice work like a lantern, providing ambiance for night markets or community events.

Story Pod - Miniature Library in the suburb of Toronto - 07 LED lights powered by rooftop solar panels (Photography by Bob Gundu)

Story Pod - Miniature Library in the suburb of Toronto - 08 View during the night time (Photography by Bob Gundu)

Story Pod - Miniature Library in the suburb of Toronto - 09Aerial view of the site (Photography by Bob Gundu)

+ Atelier Kastelic Buffey

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