• Client:
  • Sydney Writers Festival
  • Location :
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Size:
  • 25sqm
  • Status:
  • Built 2015
  • Images:
  • Alphonsus Fok; Peter Murphy; Prudence Upton


LAVA designed the interior of a book-loving bus called Russ.

This mobile library and book exchange reached around 4,000 kids at 28 schools at the Children’s Festival of Moving Stories in Sydney and featured at the Sydney Writers Festival.

Designed as a fun environment to bring books alive for children, the reimagined 'retired' bus featured 125 plywood shelves housing hundreds of books for kids to enjoy. 

The robust yet colourful space had to accommodate 20 excited kids at any one time and keep them engaged. The design had to be practical, hardwearing and economical. And overcome the challenge of books flying all over the place as the bus moved! Plus it was on a tight time frame of just four months from design to opening.

To achieve this LAVA used a fluid geometry to merge four spaces – Driver’s zone, Multimedia, Library and Lounge areas. A computer model was sliced and ‘nested’ into buildable components. 580 pieces of CNC-cut plywood were put together to create shelves, seats, benches, storage, counters and displays. 

Edged with coloured strips, the curvy plywood flows seamlessly so that walls, ceiling and floor (space, structure and ornament) become one element.

Watch a 360*panorama


The project won a Silver Award in the 2016 Sydney Design Awards.


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Design: Toko / Development: Damien Aistrope