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Photo: Sanrok Studio

Books as a Window to the World: Microlibrary in Bandung

The library now hovers expressively as a steel skeleton construction above the stage. At the same time, it forms a roof that provides shelter from rain and harsh sunlight. The stage has taken on a spatial frame, while the square has a new significance: people now come to take part in celebrations and events, but also to read and study.

The existing stage has been reworked in concrete and given a new stairway that rises into the steel construction, connecting old and new. All horizontal building elements such as the floor, ceiling and stage have been kept in concrete. Slender, vertical steel elements draw attention to the more unusual features of the façade. In order to create comfortable indoor temperatures without a complicated, costly ventilation system, the architects designed a sun-sheltering façade of inexpensive, everyday materials. Their solution comprises 2,000 recycled small, white, translucent ice-cream containers of a type widely available. This thrifty shell is not only easy to work with; it can be aired and lit in natural ways. The small plastic pails are fixed between steel ribs that extend from ceiling to floor. As they are inclined to the exterior, they repel rain as well. In heavy tropical rains, sliding interior doors can be closed as needed. Behind the open and closed components of the façade, a row of numbers conveys a message from the mayor in binary code: buku adalah jendela dunia – books are the windows to the world.

With its message, the façade both expresses the function of the building and creates an atmospheric play of light inside the library. As natural »light bulbs«, the translucent containers allow warm, diffuse, milky light inside with no risk of glare. The space is flexible enough to be used for small events or seminars.

This new place will make residents proud and offer them a space to address social problems. All the activities and courses that take place here are supported and organized by Dompet Dhuafa, also known as Pocket for the Poor, and by Indonesia’s Diaspora Foundation. One of the main aims for the building is letting local residents make decisions about maintenance, thereby developing a personal connection to the community and a place of knowledge and exchange of ideas.
Further information:

Planning: Florian Heinzelmann, Daliana Suryawinata, Yogi Ferdinand with Rizki Supratman, Roland Tejo Prayitno, Aditya Kusuma, Octavia Tunggal, Timmy Haryanto, Telesilla Bristogianni, Margaret Jo
Graphicdesign: Nusae
Execution: Yogi Pribadi, Pramesti Sudjati
Sponsors: Dompet Dhuafa & Indonesian Diaspora Stiftung
Size: 160 m² (inkl. Bühne) 
Building costs: 35.000 Euro

Photos: Sanrok Studio
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