“Micro Library” was an initial, three-weeks design project in Civic Expression studio at Central Saint Martins (University of the Arts London) in the academic year 2019/20.
The Brief called for creation of a personal micro library for 1-2 people, using minimum dimensions, within an existing urban fabric in the City of London; choice of the particular site rested with the designer. The challenge was not only to search a site that facilitates reading, but also to make reading a meaningful public act. Amid many sites taken into consideration, the Guildhall Yard has been chosen.
The Guildhall Yard is a significant place being a part of London’s historic and business centre. The Yard itself is encircled by prominent buildings such as Guildhall Great Hall, Guildhall Art Gallery or Christopher Wren’s St Lawrence Jewry Church. Under the Roman rule, the Yard has been an amphitheatre.
The Library was located against the north wall (facing the Yard) of the St Lawrence Jewry Church. Such location – distant from other buildings – extorts observing the Library from the whole Yard, and thus allows to emphasize its importance. On the other hand, the wall of the church as well as the side walls of the Library, protects the reader from excessive exposure. Finally, the location allows the Library to be discerned from a nearby street, thereby anticipating for the passers-by.
The only book stored in the Library is the Bible. Thereby, the Library constitutes an external extension of the church as a building and facilitates evangelism – the mission of the Church as an institution.
The design is devised as a route that commences from grasping a passer-by, who is subsequently encouraged to reach for the book, sit down and open it. The route terminates at the entrance to the church, when it is the reader decision to enter the church or not.