“When there are bus stops in each village, there should be a library stop too.”
This was the idea behind Rajshri Deshpande’s dream of Library Pod—an architectural intervention designed amid a Zilla Parishad school courtyard to provide students with a conducive environment for reading books and receiving education. Potentially and over time, Library Pod will evolve into a community area where villagers of various ages can congregate and cultivate the habit of reading and storytelling.
Designed by (Firm’s Name): Craft Narrative
Project Type: Institution
Project Name: Library Pod
Author: Tanvee Abhyankar
Location: Aurangabad, Maharashtra
Year Built: 2021
Duration of the Project: 5 months
Plot Area: 220 sq.m.
Built-up Area: 17.16 sq.m.
Project Size (in sq. ft.): 184.8 sq.ft.
Project Cost (approx.): ₹1,55,000
Principal Architect(s): Ar. Yatindra Patil and Ar. Vijay Kharade
Team Design Credits: Bharat Yadav, Shubham Kapre and Ajay Harsure
Material Palette of the Project: Galvanised Iron, Mild Steel, Rubber Wood and Brick Paving
Color Palette for each area/space: Turquoise Blue, Metallic Gray
Construction Materials- Tata steel
Consultants for the Project:
Structural Engineers- Sonal Nimbalkar
Contractors- Wasim Kazi
Library Pod satiates the quest for knowledge, for knowledge doesn’t know restrictions, it is where the willingness is— across age groups and interests. The project makes an earnest effort to address it at the grassroots level in order to excel collectively, and attempts to address it in the village of Pandhari where natural inquisitiveness thrives, despite proper infrastructure and resources.
Compared to the impact it has on the value of education, it occupies much less space. The structure is purposefully placed under a peepal tree, in an area that is surrounded by students’ and local artists’ graffiti works. It comprises of a shelf for storage and an outwardly extending metal roof that protects the structure and users from extreme weather. The roof is built of thin steel plate rafters and purlins that taper towards the edges to convey the roof’s lightness in contrast to the shelf’s seeming weight. The entire metal structure doubles as waterproof bookcases and outdoor-friendly blackboards on the opposite side, making it possible to conduct classes under the peepal tree itself. The bookshelves are sealed with rubber gaskets, and the framework and shutters are manufactured from GI sheets.
In order to ensure workmanship and quality, the bookshelves are built by the same company that makes streetside electrical distribution boxes. The unit was prefabricated and assembled on site. A rubber-wood bench is placed next to this unit to extend its use. Bricks are stacked to build the flooring of this pod, and are arranged in a way that they rise from level zero to the level of the pod by way of short steps—steps that also serve as amphitheatre seats to the courtyard. The overhang covers the brick base and is supported by columns made of 80mm*80mm M.S. box sections. The pod effectively completes varied activities for both students and townspeople, acting as a backdrop for early morning gatherings and lunchtime recreational activities in the school. Having said that, the Library Pod is an illustration of how even the simplest inventions may lead to the greatest successes.
The process of creating inventions provides insight into the height of human achievement. The technical advances are judged in the larger accomplishments, but it is important to pay attention to the tiniest interventions that have the most impact. The Library Pod, a successful project by the Nabhangan Foundation that was finished in December 2021, is currently used as a location for learning, reflection, and recreation.