Being engaged in a book fair of this magnitude makes The British Council not only an entity dealing with cultural enrinchment and educational exchanges but, in this particular case, a specific place in an enormous library. It is a library where one can find all sorts of books and hear all sorts of tales but it is an amorphous library lacking oneness. It is also a loud one, and many pass by rapidly for there are few ocasions where one can stop and stare silently in such density. Thus, a room is required.
For an organisation craving for togetherness, crossing borders can also happen the other way around, from the outside to the inside, towards intimity and closeness, and what better way to determine a chamber in a library if not with the books themselves. Given the proximity with the nearby pavillion for the acces to the underground level, the room inevitably occurs by simply designing its missing corner. An encloser outlined on two sides by a bookcase is, therefore, our proposal for the British national stand.
As modest and unpretentious as it may seem at first glance, we consider this to be, on the contrary, the most flexible and intricate way to react in such an irregular circumstance. It is the case of great liberation but at the same time a place of gathering and compression as only an empty room can become. However, this striking emptiness or absence of any redundant elements is immediatly compensated through the subtleties of those present by mere necessity:
“The holiness of the minute particular” (BLAKE William. The poetical works of William Blake. Forgotten Books. 1908.)
In a library that is just temporary, evanescent, a bookcase shouldn’t lay on the floor as if the books were fixed and set for posterity. A stack of shelves that is soon to be relocated becomes volatile and for that, a heavy concrete slab is placed first on the floor, as if it had been there forever. The corner bookcase is then anchored in the slab and stays in a somewhat misterious suspension.
Once inside, among the books, the structural meaning is revealed as in an act of honesty in expression and great disclosure: an embedded non-diformable triangle is stiffend by the shelves themselves wich are held together in a rigid sistem with metalic cane-like thrusts. The concrete slab is, therefore, at the same time structural, bearing this entire sistem, functional, becoming a podium for different activities inside the room, and informal, being engraved like a headstone with the historically and geographically identity of The British Council.
For the thrusts to be pinned between the shelves, metallic threaded spheres are required on top. These are what we call canaries for their scattered presence and seemles levity, but also for the symbolic meaning of them, in tune with the brief itself, for they are known to be a sign of freedom and intellectual development.