Have you ever fantasized about burrowing into a tree trunk like a squirrel? First-year architecture and urban planning students at the Estonian Academy of Arts designed and built this cozy timber shelter that lets you experience something similar without going too far off the ground. Made from curved pieces of plywood, this cavernous installation is ribbed to mimic pages of a book and offers seating perfect for curling up on with a good novel.
Developed in 2015 as part of an annual student architecture project, READER was selected out of 15 designs for construction and temporary display in the heart of Tallinn. When viewed from afar, READER appears as a solid cuboid mass. Upon closer inspection however, the shelter reveals itself to be made from individual plywood sheets evenly spaced apart. The project was constructed over the course of five days and is elevated atop nine adjustable legs.
READER can be entered via a round opening that leads to an inner winding path that diverges into two and rises and falls like a small hill. The individual pine plywood panels are connected by spruce logs and are cut to slightly different sizes for an undulating tunnel effect. The student architects invite the public to enter and “escape from the real world of problems into the fictional world of books.” READER is currently on display in a grove in Pedaspea, Lahemaa, North-Estonia as part of an outdoor exhibit that showcases student work.
Images © Paco Ulman