WHAT architecture - London

Frankfurt Book fair

Scale sqm
LocationFrankfurt, DE
Design Year2012

About 23% of New Zealand is covered in forest. While most countries are experiencing wide deforestation, New Zealand experiences waves of increased forestation due to government initiatives to improve forest sustainability. WHAT_architecture / Kubix wanted to incorporate this unique culture of artificial forest plantation in its concept for the Frankfurt Book Fair pavilion. By creating a dense environment of trees, the space attains a close relationship with both the New Zealand landscape and the books on display. Just as they can become enchanted in a book, the public can explore, learn and lose themselves in the forest.

Like in Kaingaroa, inside our man made forest we made clearings for different activities. While wandering the landscape, one can stumble across a caravan forcamping, a lecture on New Zealand literature, or even a lake hidden under the forest canopy. Five clearings accommodate different functions:

• A PR stand for promoting New Zealand tourism. Visitors can find information here on travel to New Zealand and how to find its literature in the forest. The general information desk will be located outside the hall, in the foyer.

• A cafe serving cold food from a caravan. Visitors can sit, read and relax in this space.

• A public reading space for holding lectures or author readings. While notbeing used for these functions, the projection board can display documentaries on the New Zealand landscape and culture or act as a private reading space. The chairs are moveable to adapt to different uses.

• A shop inside a [log cabin]. This clearing will accommodate some of the businesses to promote and sell their product.

• A lake offering a tranquil space for reading with moveable seating.

• The location of these functions relate to the arrangement of book subjects. Some trees will display digital content, including audio books and e-readers for a more interactive engagement with visitors.