Promoting literacy and a lifelong love of reading, The Story Pod, a lending library and community gathering space, is a small structure with star power. The pro bono project by architecture firm Atelier Kastelic Buffey (AKB) is the realization of one community’s goal to create a central, modern landmark at which residents can engage with one another.

The 64-square-foot building sits near a riverside walking trail in Newmarket, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto. During the day, two of the modern tiny library’s walls pivot open like the covers of a giant book, inviting passers-by to sit, relax and perhaps borrow (or gift) a title or two.

AKB’s simple, yet highly functional design was brought to life by town employee volunteers. The walls are vertical slats that vary as you walk around the structure: the tightest spacing creates solid walls, the larger gaps let in light and views, and the widest openings display the shelves of books using UV-filtering Lexan, a shatterproof glass alternative.

The Story Pod closes at dusk. In the evening, using lights powered by the solar panel on the roof of the structure, the tiny library is lit from within and serves as the glowing focal point of the riverside plaza. [Photography by Shai Gil and Bob Gundu]