Construction date: 2010
Designed by Koen Schetske with Waas Gramser and Kris Van Trier
Adaptations 2013: Koen Schetske with Waas Gramser, Kris Van Trier
Woodwork: Koen Schetske, Tidian N’dongo, Max Van Essche
Funding: Comp.Marius in association with Zomer van Antwerpen
Inspired on the one hand by an existing semicircular wooden seating stand which Comp.Marius has already been using in the open air for ten years, and on the other by a great love of books and their readers, the company has now built an open-air library.
Two thousand books are arranged in a continuous 16-metre row of bookcases on the rear side of a curved seating stand for readers. Between this stand and the books is a wooden passageway with seats. This choice was made on the basis of an old engraving of the library in Jules Verne’s submarine.
Unlike a public library, this one holds a personal collection and the books are catalogued using a highly individual system. It is conceived as a ’reading room‘, where the books can only be read or consulted on the spot, on a comfortable curved seating stand that has back supports and table-tops with room for 60 readers.
The construction makes provision for a possible expansion to 110 readers, because ’when it‘s dark Minerva‘s owl flies out‘, and bibliophile presentations, talks and literary speeches can be held. In addition, smokers, children, the blind, speakers of other languages and birds are also all welcome in this library.