A Climbable Bookshelf.

Oh do I ever have bookshelf and house envy right now. Raging envy. This is such a good idea! And all that spaciousness and light!

Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves are lovely, and can act as a robust focal point in any home. But accessing the high shelves can be a problem. The common side-kick has always been ladders, which can also add character and charm. But for smaller homes like in Japan they can be a nuisance, occupying too much space for not enough usage. But Japanese architect Shinsuke Fujii came up with a simple, yet brilliant solution that solves another problem too: earthquake safety.

The “House in Shinyoshida,” as it’s called, named for the neighborhood in Yokohama where it stands, was conceived shortly after the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake. The client, who happened to be an avid book lover, approached Fujii with the task to design a home around a large bookshelf that’s both easily accessible but also one that won’t spill all the books if there’s ever a tremor.

The solution was to slant the entire western-facing façade and create a built-in slanted bookshelf whose shelves also function as a ladder.

You can read and see more at Spoon & Tamago.


  1. says

    Now I’m thinking you could build a large A frame inside a room, to have a climbable bookshelf, and still be able to use most of the room for whatever.

  2. Ice Swimmer says

    Ok, two slanted, climbable bookshelveses built back-to-back on both sides of a-frames and a sleeping alcove between them with sheets and clothes storage under the horizontal beams.

    A quiet place to sleep.

  3. Ice Swimmer says

    How to get out of bed might need some thought, though strategically placed handles could help.

  4. jimb says

    OK, I totally fcuking want this.

    I’m sure the landlord of our rented house wouldn’t mind….

  5. rq says

    How to get out of bed might need some thought, though strategically placed handles could help.

    A slide.
    Bedtime would become way too much fun.

  6. Onamission5 says

    This is amazing. I think it would be perfect for those houses which have unusually wide and long halls, or with those awkward gallery entrances that have lots of wall space but no furniture looks quite right.

  7. Ice Swimmer says

    chigau @ 17

    In my idea, the shelves would be on the sides of the bed, because that way the sound-absorbtion by the books would be maximised and at the bed level the width of the alcove would be only slightly larger than the mattress so as not to make the whole thing too wide to fit a room. This would mean you could only enter and exit the bed from the end, not sides. But yeah, maybe crawling a bit more than one meter may not be a problem.

  8. StevoR says

    I love this.

    If there’s any heaven then for me its an endless library -- and a (much) faster than light starship able to go anywhere and having the knowledge to steer it and having the people, flora and critters you;love aboard it.