Saturday, July 29, 2017

Micro Libraries of Indonesia

By Rutvi Ashar
Photography: Sanrok Studio; courtesy SHAU
Read Time: 2 mins
"micro library by day SHAU indiaartndesign"

A floating library constructed out of 2000 ice-cream buckets as part of the ‘100 Micro-libraries’ program in Indonesia is a source of pride for its low-income populace.

The Micro-library Bima, Sumur Bandung, Indonesia by SHAU recently won both, Jury and Popular Choice awards in the Architizer A+ Awards 2017. SHAU, a multi-awarded rising architecture practice started a mission to rekindle interest in books by offering a designed place for reading, pairing it with multiple community activities.

"micro library by night SHAU indiaartndesign"

The ‘100 Micro-libraries’ program was initiated to fight the high illiteracy rate in Indonesia and provide reading facilities to make learning attractive and reachable. As the current infrastructure does not support to improve its Human Development Index, many eager students lose out on reading; hence, the idea of bringing libraries closer to homes emerged.  More micro-libraries are under construction/planning in 13 different neighbourhoods and parks in Bandung. Each micro-library is uniquely designed to fit programmatic demands of each site and community.

"micro library inculcating reading SHAU indiaartndesign"
"micro library interiors SHAU indiaartndesign"

‘Micro-library Bima’ is the first realized and sponsored prototype in a neighbourhood that consists of diverse middle and lower-income residents. The building is situated in a small square with a pre-existing stage that was already used by the local community for gatherings, events and sports activities. The planning intention was to add rather than take away, so SHAU decided to enhance the open stage by shading it, protecting it from the rain in form of a floating library box.

"micro library binary facade detail SHAU indiaartndesign"
"micro library binary facade SHAU indiaartndesign"

With a budget of 40,000 Euro, the construction was done with I-beams and concrete slabs. Previously missing, full-length stairs were added and a pleasant indoor climate without the use of air conditioning was created. Thus, intelligently using the available, cost efficient, plastic ice-cream buckets as a façade material opened the space to natural light and ventilation. Incorporating the Mayors message, ‘books are the windows to the world’, the buckets are arranged as zeros (opened) and ones (closed), thus giving the possibility to embed the message in the façade in the form of a binary code!

"micro library view from inside SHAU indiaartndesign"
"micro library peering kids SHAU indiaartndesign"

Currently, the activities and teaching are supported and organized by Dompet Dhuafa (Pocket for the Poor) and the Indonesian Diaspora Foundation; ultimately, they hope to enable locals to organize the content and maintain the communal space.  

"micro library regions SHAU indiaartndesign"

Fact File: 
Name of client: City of Bandung
Architects: SHAU
Sponsors: Dompet Dhuafa (Pocket for the Poor); Urbane Community Indonesian Diaspora Foundation (IDF)
Area:  160 sq. m.
Location: Taman Bima, Bandung, Indonesia

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