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.
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.
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.
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.
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.