Housing

Architect rewrites the book on micro-houses with added library

Installation shines light on the closure of public book-borrowing spots across the UK with London Design Festival slot

This micro-house has big ideas on libraries – and demonstrated this by adding one to the side of it.

Sam Jacob Studio’s The Stack took centre-stage at last month’s London Design Festival with an eye-catching building that appeared at first glance to be more pile of bestsellers than a recognisable property.

The interior features a hammock as the perfect place to sit for a relaxing read (Andy Stagg)

Embracing the view that living in the capital will see more shared spaces in the future, the micro-house includes a joint-kitchen as well as the library.

Externally, architect Sam Jacob takes a leaf from the book of the city’s geometric facades with its angular design.

The Stack lives up to its name with an exterior that replicates a pile of books (Andy Stagg)

While internally, the idea is to conceive a flexible, imaginative space in the image of British eccentricity that is rooted in local traditions.

Everyone lives and works somewhere, but most of us rarely think about the spaces and places we inhabit

It is a place of exchange with the library allowed visitors to share and swap literature about the history of living in London during its installation period.

This is meant to shine a light on the decreasing number of public libraries while the kitchen points to the importance of food markets.

The Big Issue has also taken on a stand on the importance of libraries and literacy with our #WhyBooksMatter campaign, which called on communities to band together  and keep libraries open when it launched in February.

It is hoped that the design will help turn the page on the future of libraries (Andy Stagg)

“I’ve always been interested in combinations, juxtapositions and fusions; in how projects can draw on different references and forge alternative possibilities,” Jacob explains.

“Often this means bringing apparent opposites together to create unexpected alliances and design languages. The aim is to open up the possibilities of design while also making reference to the world around us.”

Inside there is living space alongside the shelves stacked with books on the history of London living (Andy Stagg)

The Stack was shown off as part of the festival’s MINI Living long-term research project which explores the creative use of space through innovative design.

Their Urban Cabin project will continue in cities around the world with a permanent, shared workspace next on the list in New York.

London Design Festival director Ben Evans adds: “Everyone lives and works somewhere, but most of us rarely think about the spaces and places we inhabit.

“This landmark project, like all London Design Festival projects, challenges us to pause and consider how design frames and defines our living world.”

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