A climbable personal library in an old elevator shaft

Studio North was commissioned to refit an old elevator shaft in a converted warehouse loft in Calgary; they built a tall, narrow library with climbable shelves whose hand- and foot-holds retract into the shelving.

Located in a converted warehouse in downtown Calgary, the client’s loft had an unused space that was once part of the building’s industrial elevator shaft. Taking advantage of the room’s high ceilings and small footprint, the space was adapted into a climbable library and music studio. The verticality of the room prompted the design of a climbable shelving system that playfully and efficiently uses minimal floor area while providing ample storage and display space. The millwork wall has handholds and foot tabs integrated into the structure to facilitate climbing and make fetching a book fun. Using a CNC mill to produce the baltic birch components, the display boxes and structure were fabricated in the Studio North wood shop and then assembled on-site, limiting the client’s exposure to power tools and sawdust.

Library Shaft [Studio North]

(via Bookshelf)

Notable Replies

  1. Death.

    Paralysis resembling death and they cremate you while you're still alive?

    You fall and you can't get up and your cats eat you alive?

    You're a vampire so you don't really worry about falls, but one of the shelves snaps off and manages to stake you when you fall on it?

    Someone puts all my Boba Fetts on the top shelf but I am too scared of heights and flimsy climbing things to go get them?

  2. phuzz says:

    It's not that high, I was anticipating an entire lift shaft.
    Then I thought some more, and imagined a whole lift shaft filled with bookshelves, and then nets strung every floor or so. That way you'd never have far to fall, and if you got halfway up and found a particularly interesting book, you could just lie in the net to read it, like a giant hammock.

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