In a small suburb of Toronto in Canada you will find an unusual little landmark. The structure known as The Story Pod is a tiny library which opens its doors to the public during sunlight hours using solar panels on its roof, with solar powered lights coming on at night when The Story Pod closes. The design of the structure is such that the doors opening recall the action of opening a book.

The Story Pod was designed by a local architecture firm Atelier Kastelic Buffey (AKB) as a pro bono project aimed to create a space where members of the community can meet, engage with each other, discover new literature and hopefully learn something or become engulfed in a new world on paper. Passersby can sit down in the pod to read a book or they can borrow books to take away. Residents are also encouraged to donate books from their own collection to share with the rest of the community.

The pod is only 64 square feet and is located near a popular walking trail in Newmarket, Ontario. Volunteers from the town helped to bring AKB’s design to fruition as a hub to bring residents together and promote learning and literacy. When the doors of the pod close, vertical slats allow you to see into it at varying angles, depending on where you stand in relation to the pod. At some points it appears as solid walls but as you walk around the pod the shelves of books are revealed through the largest slats using a shatterproof glass alternative called UV-filtering Lexan, which allows light through. The Story Pod really stands out at night as the solar powered lights leak through the vertical slats to create a glow about it amongst the scenic surroundings on the riverside plaza.

AKB describe the structure as “a pure, simple form that belies a deeply thoughtful approach to architecture.” It is an innovative design and idea which encourages people from the community to read more, socialise more with other residents and share books with others.