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New UK Library Fits Within a Phone Booth

Posted By Diane Pham On December 2, 2009 @ 1:00 am In Architecture,Recycled Materials,Urban design | 1 Comment

sustainable design, green design, recycled materials, phone box library, westbury sub mendip, public space, urban design

London is calling! Actually, it’s Westbury-sub-Mendip’s new 24-hour phone booth library [1]! After witnessing their weekly mobile library disappear, this wee town in the south of England town wasn’t going to let their iconic phone booth be taken away as well. Conceived by a local resident as a way to save a bit of history while satiating the curious minds of the township, the classic phone booth was recycled into what has now become one of the country’s smallest libraries [2].

sustainable design, green design, recycled materials, phone box library, westbury sub mendip, public space, urban design

The bright red phone booth was purchased by the Westbury-sub-Mendip Parish council from BT for a mere £1, and residents soon began to install shelves and stock them with books that they’ve read, with the opportunity of swapping them out for ones they’ve not. A major success, the library is filled with over 100 choices ranging from cookbooks to classics, from blockbuster DVDs to old school CDs.

While traditional in its aesthetic, the library has a very convenient modern feature: it’s open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day [3], and even lit at night for those who want a book to curl up with a book before dozing off. In order to keep the selection fresh, there is even a regular check to determine which titles are moving — those failing to capture the eyes of the locals are shipped off to a charity shop.

The inspired reuse of phone booths has become so attractive that BT has received 770 applications from communities seeking to ‘adopt a kiosk’. 350 have already found new lives as art installations [4], showers and even public toilets.

Via BBC News [1]


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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/new-uk-library-fits-within-a-phone-booth/

URLs in this post:

[1] phone booth library: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/somerset/8385313.stm

[2] libraries: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/01/28/arabian-library-by-richard-and-bauer/

[3] 365 days a year, 24 hours a day: http://www.inhabitat.com/2009/11/03/stunning-open-air-library-pops-up-in-east-germany/

[4] art installations: http://laist.com/2006/09/20/banksy_strikes_again.php

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