Undulating grass mounds at Kurkku Fields camouflage a meditative enclave for reading and rest. Opened last month in Kisarazu City, Japan, “Underground Library” is the project of Hiroshi Nakamura and NAP Architects, who designed the study center so that it nestles into the ground and seamlessly merges with the surrounding landscape.
A radial skylight allows natural light to pour into the otherwise concrete and wood space, along with large glass windows that line the building’s perimeter, showcasing a selection of the 3,000 books on the shelves. Given the location of the library, many of the titles explore the natural world through poetry, art, philosophy, history, and science. Halls wind throughout the circular space and lead to cozy reading rooms, some of which have narrow shelves carved into the walls that hide volumes for surprise discoveries.
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