Encyclopedia House in The Grove

Are you ready for the next crazy Grove adventure?

We are delighted to welcome esteemed local artists Don and Cora Li-Leger into The Grove as they begin setting up the “Encyclopedia House” this week. This small, temporary art-installation will be made entirely out of old encyclopedias and other about-to-be-discarded books!

We need your help! Construction on the foundation will begin this Tuesday, September 22 at 11:00am. Construction of the “house” will begin the next day, Wednesday, September 23 at 10:00am. All are welcome!

Do you have any books to contribute? Donated books will be incorporated into the construction of the house. Do you have any interesting or quirky books that you would like to see included? What books do you think should be included in a “house of knowledge” in Newton? Drop off books during the day on Wednesday only. If you are not able to drop off books during the day, please contact us and we will find a way to get them from you.

Please read on for more information about the project.

Encyclopedia House

Project Description:

In the age of digital information, there exists a plethora of no-longer-used encyclopedia sets, textbooks, and other reference books in our midst. This is a proposal for an unusual art project to make use of items such as these, as well as to comment on salient local issues.

The motivation for Encyclopedia House is many-fold. It is a vehicle to promote public interest and support for locally-initiated contemporary art projects that aim to address a range of local issues – by promoting curiosity, increasing interest, encouraging thought, and enlivening public discourse. As a public art piece on an unusual site, it is hoped that Encyclopedia House will address topics such as housing and fundamental needs, neighbourhood development, changing sources of knowledge, and recycling.

Encyclopedia House is exactly what the name describes – a temporary, imaginatively-designed micro-house built of encyclopedia sets and other unused books. The environment around the structure will also be addressed, to provide a welcoming setting with the inclusion of garden space. The house itself will be approximately 8 x8’ – enough to provide a basic usable living space. Consultation and help of both an architect and a builder will ensure that the structure is stable and safe. The house will be constructed in The Grove, a well-trafficked, visible location in Newton, to garner as much interest, attention and public visitation as possible.

Project Potential:

As an art project, the Encyclopedia House can be presented to the public in a variety of ways:

  • Multiple “Open House” events could operate like gallery openings, as special times to invite the public to view.
  • Situated the Grove, the structure will be accessible at any time for passers-by and other interested audience to view.
  • It could also afford unique opportunities for mini-artist residencies, where an artist(s) could be invited to spend a prescribed amount of time and produce work in response to the project and thus enhance the impact.
  • Special ‘tours’ could be featured, to anchor community presentations or forums on salient topics.
  • Project documentation will capture the event(s) to seed future related projects.

Installation Requirements:

  • For construction of the house and surrounding site, a small level piece of vacant land is needed. To reap the most benefit from the installation, it would be greatly desirable for this to be in a highly-visible, well-trafficked, reasonably secure, and easily accessible area.   It would be ideal to have the space available for a 4-6-week period, including construction and de-installation.
  • To actually build the house, a critical number of encyclopedia sets and other books will be needed. The White Rock Rotary Club and private donors have been a significant support and channel through which to acquire books. While we now have most of the needed materials, we still welcome any donations of no-longer-used encyclopedia sets, textbooks and reference books.
  • As the project is now ready to be constructed, we now welcome any donations of books that may hold special meaning for community members, who wish these volumes to be included in the art project!


Week of Sept 21:

Construction of Encyclopedia House in The Grove, Newton.

Week of Sept 28:

Engineer’s approval and welcome for viewers to the project.


Commencement of mini-artist residencies and community response.

October 11-17:

Metro Vancouver Homelessness Action Week

October 16:

Sources Annual Homelessness Awareness March

October 17:

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Week of Oct 26:

Deconstruction and recycling of materials.


The construction and duration of the Encyclopedia House will be fully documented. We welcome participation and creative responses to the project.

Encyclopedia House


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *