Books are my passion. To look at my home, it’s not an easily kept secret. Every year, we crate four or five boxes to give to a good home like our friends, the library book sale or thrift stores with a book section, but still the outflow never matches or exceeds the inflow. Also, there are books that we can’t or don’t part with. The shelves fill and the stacks grow higher with wonderful, delightful books. 

Hank Louis, Gigagplex, Personal library
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

Architect Hank Louis (Gigaplex, Park City) solved the problem of his growing collection of books. He designed a library in the trees, built by Mark Haslam (Sausage, SLC), known to those close to him as the Presidential Library. 

Personal library, Barn
Photo by Scot Zimmerman
Hank Louis, Personal library, Barn
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

The setting is an agricultural area and meadow north of Park City’s town center, and the barn-like building sits naturally on the land. A path with a bridge crossing a stream connects it to the home. The back of the library is completely glass. The natural light is controlled so that it brightens the space without damaging the books. And of course, there are the views that capture the hillsides and sunsets. 

Personal library, Bookshelves
Photo by Scot Zimmerman
Hank Louis, Personal library, Bookshelves
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

Orderly floor-to ceiling shelves surround the reading room. The collection is organized by the Dewey Decimal system and catalogued, but if you ask Louis about a particular book, he can walk straight to a shelf and pick it up. He may even know if he has another edition or revision. 

Personal library, Bookshelves
Photo by Scot Zimmerman
Hank Louis, Personal library, Bookshelves
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

For a time, Louis owned a bookstore in Salt Lake called Biblioteque with a rich selection of art and architecture books, and the library reflects these same interests, plus nonfiction emphasizing the inquiring minds of our time and fiction. 

Personal library, Bookshelves
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

Knowing Louis, I find it amazing that he finds time to be so well read. He has his own architectural practice, he taught architecture at the University of Utah for many years, he founded and once headed up the Design/Build Bluff program and he is an active community volunteer on many boards and commissions. Plus, he loves to travel. Maybe that’s the commonality of readers—they just make the time. 

Hank Louis, Staircases, Culvert pipe, Galvanized steel
Photo by Scot Zimmerman

A galvanized steel culvert pipe is the basis for the stairway. It leads upstairs to the next level and the music section of the library—another topic for another blog.

Perhaps we have inspired you to pick up the book you have been meaning to read. Tonight, I am splitting my time between a contemporary statesman’s biography and an installment in Martin Walker’s delightful Bruno series that mixes mystery with French cuisine. Happy reading!

Read more Photo Fridays here.