RESULTS: Tiny Library 2023

International design competition platform Volume zero has announced the results of the Tiny Library 2023 Architecture Competition. 

With the world constantly evolving, there is a ton of information being formulated out there.  Human intellect today is expected to evolve at the same rate for our world to continue our journey into the future. Despite all the information, reading and self-learning remain the most powerful tools available to mankind to consume knowledge. Learning increases awareness, exposure, and productivity, which leads to development.

Despite its importance, education is still inaccessible to many communities in remote locations around the world. Self-learning, especially through reading, is crucial for the society’s development. It is important to power the growth of like-minded networks. It is necessary to have places promoting education and self-learning to educate the local population within the closest proximity. It will make them accessible to gainful employment opportunities in their home towns and will thereby avoid the need for migration elsewhere.

The competition challenged its participants to rethink and re-imagine the idea of the Library as a 21st-century self-learning and educational incubation space that not only sheds light on conventional means of knowledge but also encourages its users to interact, share ideas, and grow together. Participants were required to design a Tiny Library optimized for 75 users with engaging multifunctional spaces for all ages and spatial experiences where they were required to choose a site in a rural or remote context for the proposal and the structure should not exceed 300 sq.mt of built-up area.

Volume Zero Competition thanks all the competitors for participating in this competition and for contributing to this competition’s research. 

Participants from more than 50 countries contributed valuable concept ideas to the contest, which was evaluated by a panel of international experts. The winning projects have been awarded a total cash prize of $4,000 distributed to the first 3 team winners.

The esteemed jury for judging this competition consisted of Puran Kumar (Studio PKA), Peter W. Ferretto (Condition Lab), Lui Hanxio (LLLab), Ahmad Thaneem (3dor concepts), Antonio Garza Ferrigno (Proyecto Reacciona), Catherine Ranger (MGS Architects), Luis Ricardo (LLLab), Sebastian Irarrazaval (Architect).                                          

The top three winners were awarded total prize money of $4,000 while ten entries received Honorable Mentions. Here are the winning entries. The full result for the competition Tiny Library 2023 Architecture Competition can be found at – https://volumezerocompetitions.com/competitions/result/21 






The Ship of Knowledge: A Tiny Library as an Educational and Social Incubator

If a boat spends too long tied up in harbour, it misses the sunrises and sunsets, the crashing waves, the singing gulls and the purpose for which it was created. The spirit within us needs more nourishment than most of us provide. Let go of the moorings and seek the open water.

K.J.M., Live Life as a Boat (2017)

A boat is a place within isolation. The heart of the cosmos for those who sail it. Designed to reflect the maritime universe that inhabits the Entry Island, the Tiny Library is a landmark in the territory. Indeed, the project is inspired by the site’s socio-cultural context and the economic activities that characterize its genius loci: deep-sea and walrus fishing. Part of the Magdalen Islands, this treeless territory is charming by its rolling green hills and the authentic but few Scottish descent families who occupy it. Set in this island environment, the library aims to become the Noah’s Ark of knowledge.


Ravisha Rathore and Devesh Uniyal

“In the vast Himalayan Mountain range lies Thapli, a remote village on the verge of being completely abandoned by its own people. In this slow process of desolation, the first to leave are the men, while the women work trifold still holding the agrarian village together. Our interest lies in the Women of Thapli, the last fully functioning members of the village, that were systematically kept outside the “economic scheme” and hence is also the only one capable of challenging it. 

By appropriating the traditional concept of a library/- pustakaalay/ gyaan aashray for the women of Thapli, this intervention aims to create a transformative space that challenges the prevailing notion of progress defined solely by urbanization. Instead, it highlights the intrinsic value of self-sustaining village ecosystems and their potential to chart a more environmentally sustainable and inclusive future.


Roberta Vasnic and Ian Sanders
United Kingdom


This library has been designed to be part of its natural seating. Not simply to be located within a Banyan Tree Forest, but to be enveloped by the roots of this unique tree. The Banyan Tree holds a special place in Indian culture. It is the country’s national tree and its aerial root system, climbing downwards from the canopy, offers a means to integrate the library in the local ecosystem. Building on the indigenous theory of the seventh generation, the library would be constructed predominantly in timber and, over the generations would become wrapped in the roots of the trees above, until it becomes a living part of the forest. 

This metaphor carries into the use of the building. As a library located adjacent to the Living Roots Bridge, on the edge of Riwai, in the Meghalaya region of India, its purpose is to establish, enhance, and embed knowledge in the community. This knowledge will grow over generations, as the roots cloak the structure, rooting the library into the community and nature. The building is divided into three primary elements: General knowledge and fiction, a children’s section, and an information technology suite. Each element is accessed off a central courtyard which can be used for community events, art and sculpture exhibitions, and lectures. 



Salmah Beydoun
United States

Alexander Tarek Araj

Aman Bhavsar and Joy Ann Lim Ee Hsien


Antar Ghazoul
United Kingdom


Thakan Navapakpilai and Xiaobai Zhao
United States


Akkarawin Valinluck and Pimchid Chariyacharoen


Dilianis Arenas
United States


Pedro Medeiros De Faria


Alexander Babushkin and Sophio Bedoshvili


Nahom Redda and Amanuel Demissie


>>> Go to the competition’s website <<<



Date: September 18, 2023