10 shelving designs that are perfect for book lovers

Today is World Book Day. To mark the occasion we've rounded up 10 of the best ways designers have stored books, from bookshelf staircases to a huge concrete case that spans the wall of a Mexico City home.


Home Cafe, China, by Penda

A modular system made from steel forms the partitions of this cafe in Beijing by Penda, populated by wooden boxes designed to store books and display plants.

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Barn conversion, Belgium, by Studio Farris Architects

A Jenga-like structure in Studio Farris Architects' barn renovation forms a staircase with an integrated workspace. Its overhanging treads form shelving and cupboards for the client's books.

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Pedro Reyes' House, Mexico, by Pedro Reyes

Spanning one wall of the lounge in sculptor Pedro Reyes' Mexico City home is a huge double-height bookcase made from concrete slabs, with a gallery space accessed by cantilevered steps.

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Silvia Allori's House, Italy, by Silvia Allori

Pegs slot into holes in the walls of Silvia Allori's self-designed apartment in Florence, forming customisable bookshelves. A further bookcase is hidden behind a fold-down panel that opens to form a desk.

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The Plywood Trio Apartment, Spain, by Buj+Colón Arquitectos

When redesigning an apartment in Madrid, Buj+Colón Arquitectos added a plywood staircase with built-in cupboards below each tread for the client to store books and magazines.

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Bloom by Raw Edges

London design duo Raw Edges' bookcase has a wooden frame that resembles a weaving loom. It allows books to be slotted over red threads and held at varying heights by sliding stoppers.

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Liyuan Library, China, by Li Xiaodong

This small, single-storey library in Liyuan houses its book collection within its chunky timber framework, including a stepped platform with integrated shelves that double as seating for readers.

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Bookshelf House, France, by Andrea Mosca

Architect Andrea Mosca added stepped bookcases to help divide and characterise this Parisian house for a client who was enamoured with a friend's room-length bookshelf.

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Osaka office, Japan, by Nikken Space Design

Nikken Sekkei's self-designed office in Osaka features a bleacher-inspired bookcase at its centre. The shelving faces floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the city skyline, encouraging workers to sit and read.

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Muswell Hill home, UK, by Tamir Addadi Architecture

Tamir Addadi Architecture introduced a staircase into this London home, with a balustrade where books can be displayed within compartments made from shelving rails fixed between wooden panels.

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