We know that using recycled building materials not only saves people money, but is also good for the environment. But reclaimed materials can not only take the form of the usual wood and metal, but also more unusual things like plastic crates, beer cans and tires.
In the city of Bandung, Indonesia, Dutch-Indonesian design firm Shau created this new micro-library on top of an existing outdoor community stage, using over 2,000 recycled ice cream tubs for the structure's exterior cladding. The building is intended as a prototype for other micro-libraries that the firm plans to build in the future, to revive the use of books and to strengthen community bonds, say the architects:
The Microlibrary adds identity and is a source of pride for all the people in the neighbourhood. Our mission is to rekindle interest in books by offering a dedicated place for reading and learning, availability of books, other media and courses.
According to Dezeen, the designers chose a locally available material for the cladding that would not only give shade, yet also allow light and air to filter through. Local craftspeople were enlisted in modifying the buckets, as some have their bottoms cut off in order to act like windows. The interior feels like a calm and luminous haven, thanks to the translucent filtering of light.
The buckets are attached to vertical steel ribs and tilted, and further screened with translucent, moveable partitions to ensure that rain doesn't come in. Some of the containers are flipped around, to give a subtle, pixellated effect from the outside, spelling out the Indonesian phrase "buku adalah jendela dunia" (translated as "books are the windows to the world"). The architects say:
Not only does the facade give additional meaning to the building, but the buckets also generate a pleasant indoor light ambiance since they scatter direct sunlight and act as natural light bulbs.
Besides creating a new indoor space for the community to gather and learn, the new micro-library was placed right over what was originally a neighbourhood stage, making it even more formalized as a community space, enhancing what is already there and providing a roof that now shelters people from sun and rain.
Visually intriguing and done with a tiny budget of USD $39,000, interventions like these may be small-scale, but small libraries can have big impact on locals and the neighbourhood they live in -- increasing literacy and deepening a life-long appreciation for books and to learn new technologies. More over at Dezeen and Shau.