We believe in the power of education.
Initiated and crowd funded by IX Architects Pte Ltd, Project Books and Cubes is a learning space nestled quietly on a primary school campus, in a rural village in Siem Reap. Though small in stature, it is an incubator of big dreams for the children of rural Cambodia.
A pure cube form, the library sits on a raised slab that doubles as a creative performance space. The raised slab is also to allow the library to remain accessible to the children even in times of flood. The library extends the learning space beyond the conventional classroom. Every detail in the library is carefully thought through. Bookshelves of various depths are designed to accommodate books and integrated child-sized reading pods. The differences in depth also become foothold for children to scale up to the reading pod easily.
The design and scale of the library was conceived in order to enable off-site fabrication. Each of the three cubes is designed to be tactile and movable, encouraging fun learning and active use of the space. Although fabricated off-site, the library is orientated to fit in harmoniously with the school playground, classrooms and surrounding greenery.
There are also two double pivoting rattan screen doors with 36 unique designs in between the 3 cubes when pushed together. Villagers had a part to play in fabricating the finishes for the library. This is part of the design team’s commitment to celebrating local craft and culture, which helps develop a great sense of ownership amongst the overall community.
The project garnered much positive attention and brought together 5 Singaporean families and the local villagers to bring the project to fruition.
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Building Scale: Approximately 20’ shipping container size
Structure: Steel structure with modular eco-friendly recycled timber composite panels
Site Area (Raised Stage): 87.1 sqm
Built-up Area: 17.3 sqm
Individual Cube Size: 2.4m x 2.4m x 2.4m
Construction Time: 1.5 months
Book Capacity: 2,000
Photography: Geoff Greenwood
5 designers, 16 volunteers