with or without


March 2016

The House of Books series indeed ignites a whole series of reference projects: houses of books, houses for books, small libraries, installations and pavilions literally or metaphorically building upon the knowledge constructed in books.

Here, two small architectural works that, in different ways, raise attention to the political delicacy of books. First, the installation 1:2001 made by Finnish architect Sami Rintala in Firenze, Italy in 2001.

From the site of Rintala-Eggertson:

"10.000 religious, political and philosophical books that would have otherwise been destroyed, were collected from universities and libraries around the world. They were brought to Piazza della Reppublica in Firenze, Italy, and used as material for the work. Seen from outside all different languages, titles and colours form a rich collage. Inside all is just harmonous white paper.

The process and the work itself received a lot of attention. The installation was destroyed in only 30 hours by the citizens of the Reneissance town, although the books were written in languages they can never read, such as Polish or Lithuanian. All the books were taken home, the installation continues its life in the bookshelves of the Florentian bourgeoise."


Second, the hidden library at the Bebelplabtz in Berlin, a work by Micha Ullman of 1995. This "library" sunken in the ground, is built upon the absence of book: the bookshelves would have been able to accommodate the huge amount of books that were destroyed during the nazi book burnings at this site in 1933.