Today Massmart launched its first Urban Bookshelf, an exciting literacy project developed to increase access to books in under-served communities. Placed at Phefeni Recreation Centre in Orland, Soweto, the Urban Bookshelf looks like a striking artwork and functions as a free library.
Through a curated process Massmart commissioned GASS Architecture Studio to design the unique book sharing station, or lending library, and a renowned graffiti artist Rasik Green aka Mr Ekse to enrich the design.
“This is the first of many artist-designed free miniature libraries” says Massmart Sustainability Executive Alexander Haw “We have earmarked other locations around Johannesburg and will be collaborating with various other artists and architects to create different interpretations of the Massmart Urban Bookshelf. We hope that through this project we will promote reading and improve literacy.”
Made of powder coated steel, the book sharing station is 2.8m high and consists of durable steel boxes that ensure the books are protected from all the elements. The structure is tailored to both kids and adults, with children’s literature at the bottom for easy access. The structure also has built-in benches so people can have a seat while browsing. It can store 450 to 500 books and books are arranged into eight genres, namely, African Fiction; General Fiction; Non-Fiction; Current Affairs & Politics; Law & Business; Self Help & Motivation Young Adults and Children’s books.
For the full story: SA Good News.