On behalf of British Land, Snøhetta has designed an innovative book pavilion installation at 2 Kingdom Street in the dynamic neighborhood of Paddington Central, London. Located only a 15 minutes’ walk from Oxford Street, the permanent installation offers an immersive experience into the world of books by providing a flexible space that can be enjoyed by everyone at any time.
The book pavilion is inspired by the traditional principles of an analogue library, but with a literal twist: the mechanically intuitive installation follows a circular concept based on rotating and revolving half-drum doors that add a ludic and interactive aspect to the book pavilion.
The pavilion’s mechanical feel is also manifested through the choice of the patinated brass material of the revolving doors, echoing the aesthetic of traditional clockwork made from copper.
The book pavilion was launched during the London Design Festival 2018 and was showcased by Headline Partner of the festival, British Land, along other key commissions and activations.
The oversized walls can be physically turned in a 360-angle, creating secluded, half-secluded, open or half-open spaces that provide a wide range of atmospheres, whether quiet and intimate, open and public.
Each book will include an insert with the following inscription; Reading gives us somewhere to go. A place to escape. This book lives in the Snøhetta Book Pavilion at Paddington Central but its story doesn’t end when you read the last chapter. Please enjoy this book and then bring it back to the Snøhetta Book Pavilion so someone else can immerse themselves in the joy of reading.
The curved walls’ ever-changing patina is enhanced as the half-drums are rotated and adjusted by the individual user.
The brass doors are perforated, allowing for passersby to get a glimpse of the inside the book pavilion, even when the wall is closed. This adds a level of abstraction to the structure that sparks your imagination – just like books do.
The rest of the pavilion is painted in a muted dark grey which keeps the structure simple and emphasizes the mechanical qualities of the structure and the books inside.