Front, 'Library' in English
Right side, 'Library' in Chinese
Left side, 'Library' in Spanish
Student helping trace letters
Student helping paint
Two Bridges After School Program
Plywood, wood, aluminum, stainless steel, acrylic sheet, exterior latex paint, spar urethane, books, iron fence
A joint project between The Architectural League of New York and PEN World Voices Festival in collaboration with Little Free Library, LTD., Little Free Library/NYC was a design/build competition in which ten designers were chosen to install a Little Free Library in collaboration with a host community organization in the Lower East Side. Little Free Libraries are small publicly accessible book shelters that function on an honor system of “take a book, return a book.” Entitled Word Play, this library plays with the idea of stacking and perspective. The piece, done in collaboration with the community organization the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, uses layered plywood to allude to the vertical patterns produced by books on a bookshelf, creating multiple visual effects based on the angle one views the library. Located in a diverse community made up of English, Spanish, and Chinese speakers, this visual effect allows the library to convey the message “LIBRARY” (printed on the surface of the piece) in these three languages all at once. By doing so, “Word Play” seeks to capture the multi-cultural character of the neighborhood. In addition, the library provides two linear feet of bookshelf space and includes seating that faces the East River so that it becomes a place where people can stay to read, share with their neighbors, and enjoy the view.