Dream Homes Built for Books and the Nerds Who Love Them

Barbie has a dream house, and it seems only fair that book nerds should have one too. When we saw a beautiful, four-story home on Gizmodo that was designed entirely around a giant bookcase, we fell in love. Hard. We feature more photos of the bibliofiend’s fantasy palace after the break, along with other amazing houses that take bookcases to the extreme. The designers of these abodes honored the owners’ love of literature by making each home’s central concept and prominent architectural component a huge, built-in library. Several of these bookcases take over the entire house. Are you swooning yet? Click through our gallery for more.

This “vertical loft” was part of a historical restoration project in Rotterdam, designed by Dutch architectural firm, Shift. A three-story bookcase replaced one of the main structural walls in the home, stretching to every floor. The adjacent staircase provides easy access to the large collection. It’s a good thing we don’t live here, since we’d probably never leave the house.


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Most apartment dwellers dream of having built-in bookcases to save space. This contemporary pad in Brazil designed by Triptyque Studio features an incredible, large-scale, wraparound bookcase as the apartment’s focal point. It can be accessed from all sides, with shelving top to bottom, and the interior hides other rooms.


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Travis Price Architects created this “hovering” bookcase, built into a dome over a writing studio. The homeowner wanted a space that encompassed his interests (he’s an anthropologist, ethnobotanist, author, and photographer) and would provide an atmospheric experience for guests. The books are accessed by ladder. The architects dubbed this their version of the oracle’s temple at Delphi, but the homeowner calls it his “Navajo kiva of knowledge.”


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Part of this Australian home was designed around its pitched bookcase, which follows the roofline.


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The homes pictured here were both designed by Dutch firm EventArchitectuur. The company takes an artistic approach to their creative bookcases by inventing elaborate spaces that cover interior walls from room to room. Various shapes and sizes are intermingled for unique architectural interest.


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This creators of this enormous, book-lined staircase from Levitate Architects had this to say about the stunning loft-library apartment design:

“Our proposal extended the flat into the unused loft space above, creating a new bedroom level and increasing the floor area of the flat by approximately one third. We created a ‘secret’ staircase, hidden from the main reception room, to access a new loft bedroom lit by roof lights. Limited by space, we melded the idea of a staircase with our client’s desire for a library to form a ‘library staircase’ in which English oak stair treads and shelves are both completely lined with books. With a skylight above lighting the staircase, it becomes the perfect place to stop and browse a tome. The stair structure was designed as an upside down ‘sedan chair’ structure (with Rodrigues Associates, Structural Engineers, London) that carries the whole weight of the stair and books back to the main structural walls of the building. It dangles from the upper floor thereby avoiding any complicated neighbour issues with the floors below.”


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The Shelf-Pod house designed by Kazuya Morita Architecture Studio truly is a home made of bookcases. Every. Place. You. Turn. The homeowner has an extensive book collection (mainly Islamic history, a theme that also figures into the design) and needed an efficient, but stylish solution. Multiple lattice-style storage structures were precision-cut, then assembled on site. The slotted bookcases cover every architectural element, including stairs, windows, and walls.


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The adorably named UnWaste Bookcase is a full-wall, rotating library by architect Ben Milbourne (Bild Architecture), eco-designer Leyla Acaroglu (Eco Innovators) and furniture designer David Waterworth (Against the Grain). It’s constructed from reclaimed plywood collected from construction sites. Walls of books that spin? Yes, please!


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A glass-enclosed library courtyard.


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The Ark is a 6,000-book tower that was created to explore how “small spaces can focus our energies and thoughts in moments of study, meditation, and self-reflection.” The stunning bookshelf “apartment” becomes a piece of meta-architecture. It was installed in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, but the three-story wonder would be a great addition to any home.


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The designers at .27 Architects gave one apartment a complete revamp with custom furniture and under-floor storage space — including an unusual bookcase built right into the floor. The library fits flush with the wooden planks and could be covered up, but why would you want to?


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What do you do when you’re an architect whose father owns 16,000 books? You build him a house-library and move in permanently.


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Castles have the right idea.