In a recent Q&A with the Boston Globe, Daniel Libeskind made it clear that when it comes to books, he doesn’t just look at the pictures. Titles on the architect’s current reading list reflect a predilection for essays and short stories—Borges, Melville, and Walter Benjamin, among others. He told the Globe that he keeps a set of Edgar Allan Poe stories on his bedside table.
With so many tomes simultaneously clamoring for his attention, it would be fitting if Mr. Libeskind’s library furnishings included his Reading Machine (above)—one of three contraptions he designed for the 1986 Venice Biennale.
But alas, the device is no more, having met a bizarre fate. Based on Renaissance engineer Agostino Ramelli’s 1584 “Book Wheel” invention, Libeskind’s version ended up in a Venetian warehouse after the show. Eventually it was shipped to Geneva for an exhibition at the Palais Wilson. The day before the installation, though, the machine was incinerated, victim of a terrorist’s firebomb.