International Architecture Competition

Archhive Books'
Portable Reading Rooms


Competition introduction

Competition organisers

Archhive Books' 
Portable Reading Rooms

In Partnership With

Archhive Books' 
Portable Reading Rooms Archhive Books' 
Portable Reading Rooms

Despite the growing presence of digital devices, the demand for physical books remains as strong as ever, and with good reason. Research has shown that readers of printed books absorb and remember more information about the plot of a book than those using e-readers, likely due to the tactile sensation of handling a physical book, turning its pages and feeling how far you have progressed. Even children as young as three benefit from being read to from physical books, becoming more engaged and finding the story easier to remember. Researchers theorise that this is because they are less distracted than by electronic devices.

In order to help make books more accessible, and reading more encouraged, ARCHHIVE BOOKS are calling for submissions for the ARCHHIVE BOOKS' Portable Reading Rooms architecture competition. This competition is seeking designs for a small structure that could be embedded within existing public spaces in multiple locations around the world. The Reading Rooms would have to function as an intimate meditative space in which people can read and exchange books.

For the ARCHHIVE BOOKS' Portable Reading Rooms architecture competition, the structure would need to be highly versatile so that it could be located in various locations, and could function in any climate and any season. Though their functionality could change throughout the year - operating as a simple book exchange box during colder months and a more immersive and interactive reading experience during milder weather - the Reading Rooms should have the potential to enrich the community in which it is placed.

Participants have total creative freedom when conceptualising the design and functioning of the Reading Rooms, in fact, they need not even be a physical room. As long as they are a welcoming and nourishing environment that encourages reading, the Reading Rooms can be as open or closed off as you like.

ARCHHIVE BOOKS will invite selected city councils from around the world to construct the winning design entries. Participants may propose which countries and cities they feel would benefit most from their Reading Rooms designs, however it is still important that submitted designs remain versatile and portable enough to be located anywhere in the world.

Download full competition brief for more information!


Competition is open to all. No professional qualification is required. Design proposals can be developed individually or by teams (4 team members maximum).


- Correspondence with organizers must be conducted in English.
- All information submitted by participants must be in English.

Competition results in media

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