A Spacious Yet Cozy Home Designed For Book Lovers And Cats: Critical Linking, November 12, 2017

Sponsored by Renegades by Marissa Meyer.


Designed by the Barker Freeman Design Office (BFDO), it reflects the personalities of its inhabitants, and it is easy to see that the people living in it are huge book lovers—there are shelves of books in almost every room, including the kitchen.

The space has also been designed to accommodate the needs of its feline residents, two “shy but inquisitive cats.” The continuous ledge above the bookshelf in the living area is the perfect place from which they can people-watch, while specially created trapdoors allow them to move up to the second floor.

The search is over. I’ve found my dream book-and-cat space. 

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Last month, the Turkish Statistical Institute announced that the number of public library memberships in Turkey increased by 24.1 percent in 2016, compared to the previous year. In a time of terror, political uncertainty, and a coup attempt, Turks took refuge in libraries.

Some Istanbul libraries owe their existence to taxes; others to banks; one to an English monarch. SALT is located in the previous headquarters of the Ottoman Bank, which was founded in 1856 on the orders of Queen Victoria, a friend of the westernizing Sultan Abdulmecid. The building opened at a time when Turkish-British commercial ties were at their peak. Today, its library houses 110,000 books. Last year, it served more than 47,000  readers.

This piece on Istanbul’s libraries is totally fascinating, especially the part about the role of banks in keeping them going. 

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The futuristic five-story library occupies an area of 33,700 square meters and is filled with 1.2 million books in a space straight out of a sci-fi novel, which even includes a gigantic “eye.”

A feast for the eyes of hungry readers. 

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Both are quick to acknowledge that PAL is not the first or only library of its kind. Catedral points to friends whose work she is inspired by, such as the Feminist Library on Wheels and the Free Black Women’s Library. PAL is currently showing alongside both as part of the 25 libraries invited by Wendy’s Subway Reading Room’s exhibit at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

When they’re not showing at exhibitions, PAL has a “home on the Internet.” Policarpio noted that while this initially sparked some confusion from people who wanted to visit the library, PAL’s social media accounts allow them to interact with interested readers.

“People are like, ‘Oh there are Filipino writers? There’s Filipino literature?’ People can go their entire lives without reading Filipino literature that we were so fortunate to have,” Policarpio said.

A pop-up library meant to showcase Filipino-American literature? Sounds brilliant. 

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