Check Out These Winning Architect-Designed Little Free Libraries

published Feb 17, 2017
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Anything that spreads the love of reading is wonderful in our book. We’ve been enamored with Little Free Libraries since they started popping up in neighborhoods around the world nearly a decade ago. Recently, Chronicle Books held a design competition to see if architects could come up with the perfect Little Free Library. Here are the results:

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Judges’ Choice: Owlie by Bartosz Bochynski, FUTUMATA/London, England (Image credit: FUTUMATA)

The first Little Free Library came to be in 2009. Todd Bol of Hudson, Wisconsin, built a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother—she was a teacher who loved to read. So he filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard. When his neighbors and friends loved it, he built several more and gave them away. Now there are over 50,000 Little Free Library “stewards” in over 70 countries, swapping millions of books a year.

In the fall, Chronicle partnered with Little Free Library and the AIA’s San Francisco chapter to launch this design challenge, to meet the needs of stewards everywhere. The challenged asked architects to consider “the height difference between child and adult patrons, motion sensor lighting, balancing form and function, and having a place for a late-night dog-walker to tie up their pup so they could do some perusing.”

(Image credit: FUTUMATA)

There were some seriously impressive entries, but the winner came from Bartosz Bochynski of FUTUMATA in London. Owlie has LED eyes that light up at night, and room for around forty books. Judge Renée Elaine Sazcı of AIASF says about the design, “Love that in the evening, with the help of the LED lights, the owl’s eyes light up as a feature. This not only attracts people, but creates safety for the tiny library.”

Check out the judges’ other top picks in the slideshow above (and read more about them on Medium), and find your nearest Little Free Library here.