|From The Interiorist blog via Ken Lee 2010|
|Image by Ken Lee 2010|
Mr. Ray, a Kindergarten principal, dreamed of creating a special space for children to enjoy books and expand their imaginations. He pleaded with renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando to design a privately-owned library that would mainly serve three local preschools. Ando agreed and was given only one piece of instruction from Mr. Ray. Ando was required to construct a library that would allow the book covers to be displayed outward for the children to see. The Picture Book Library was inspired by Maurice Sendak’s book Outside Over There. Ando produced the building using only three materials: reinforced concrete, glass, and wood. He integrated the exterior with the interior spaces to give the appearance of reading outdoors.
The main reading room houses books with the covers facing outward in book cubbies. Stairways weave throughout the room, allowing children to explore the tall wooden walls filled with books and to sit to read a book they have chosen. Ando did not use color in his design, but rather allowed the bright illustrations of the books themselves to bring to life the building. There are approximately 10,000 international picture books in the collection, with 1,500 books on display at any given time.
After the project was completed, Ando stated, “I am sure there is no sign, don’t laugh, anywhere. An atmosphere of playfulness, not awe or indoctrination, is the hallmark of this new paradigm of educational facility…It will help [kids] dream.” For more information, visit A Library Architecture Resource.
In the spirit of being inspired by Japanese art, learn about the Japanese master illustrator and printmaker, Hokusai, in our beautifully illustrated children’s book, Old Man Mad About Drawing by Francois Place.
You can purchase our latest picture book, Just Perfect, written and illustrated by Jane Marinsky, from the Godine website.