These colourful mini libraries are revitalising a forgotten corner of Seoul

ArchiWorkshop designed four mini libraries in Seoul to revitalise a forgotten corner, which was previously occupied by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

Commissioned by Seoul Innovation Park and the city of Seoul, ArchiWorkshop designed and erected four mini libraries as part of the Mobile Libraries Project, which aims to inject life and colour back into the site formerly occupied by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.  The project is expected to open its gates to the public for the first time. 

The four libraries – named Block, Pipe, Mirage and Membrane – were designed with the shape of a cube in mind. Each of the four libraries is named after the respective material cladding their exterior. The shape came up as an inspiration because it features in the Seoul Innovation Park’s cube logo. “The cube is one of the most basic geometry, but yet, it creates dynamic manifold with small changes,” said the architects.

The libraries boast various colours, finishes, material and angles. The architects have described the Block library as “parasitic” because it is attached to an existing building that stands at a looming six-storey’s. The block stands at a tilted angle, which breaks the huge volume.


The Pipe library is clad in colourful, vertical scaffolding tubes, which are used on construction sites. The tree trunks inside the park inspired the architects to pursue an exterior that features heavy vertical stripes.


Mirage library is covered in stainless steel and reflects the surrounding nature on its exterior surface.

Membrane, the last of the four libraries, differs from the others in that it is curvilinear shaped. ArchiWorkshop originally designed the structure as a luxury glamping tent, for glamorous camping, but then modified it for the public mobile library project.

Visitors can sit and read, or borrow numerous titles from either of these libraries.