Book lovers, brace yourselves. The images you are about to see may make you drool a little bit.
Yes, the Shelf Pod is a book lover's dream come true. Designed by Kazuya Morita Architecture Studio, the entire home contains bookshelves built into practically every nook and cranny imaginable. Even the staircase becomes a display for the owner's collection.
This unique home was built in order to house the client's extensive collection of books on Islamic history. Keeping the subject matter in mind, the architects found subtle ways to incorporate elements of Islamic architecture into this Japanese home, located in Osaka prefecture. They designed the various aspects of the space, such as the windows, stairs, and desk, with the scale of the bookshelves in mind, thus maintaining geometric harmony, an element often found in Islamic architecture. As well, the roof of the Shelf Pod covers the entire home, mimicking the domed roof structure of a Mosque.
If you are like me, you may have assumed a house designed to display a book lover's collection would be something cluttered and claustrophobic. I recall visiting my grandpa's home in Japan, with his stacks and stacks of dusty, old books of classic English literature. Cluttered and claustrophobic seem insufficient to describe the mess. So I am pleasantly surprised to find that neither of these words describe the Shelf Pod. The spaces are open and can breathe, as one room blends into the next. The architects describe moving through the room similar to "exploring a wooden jungle gym".
However, if you found yourself feeling slightly overwhelmed with the extensive book collection inside the home, simply step outside for a moment and take in the clean, modest elegance of the Shelf Pod's exterior. I love how the architects kept it simple outside, achieving balance between the Shelf Pod's interior and exterior.