Reinventing the Bookshop: Four architecture and design firms “create the bookshop of their dreams”
intelligent life magazine asked 4 companies to “create the bookshop of their dreams.”
Each were given the same instructions:
to design a general-interest bookshop, selling fiction, non-fiction and e-books, in store and online, on a typical European high-street site, with two floors of 1,000 square feet each. The budget was £100,000—modest, we knew, but independent booksellers aren’t minted and that figure was ring-fenced for the fit-out; they could assume there would be further funds for training staff or running events.
The four participants were Gensler, 20.20 , Burdifilek and Coffey Architects. Here are the sketches and some of the highlights of their creations:
“It’s a luxury to see and touch the product. That’s what the internet doesn’t give you…Current exhibits are displayed on plinths (“I don’t want to call it a table, it’s more of a sculpture, to make you focus on what’s on top”), while the shelves that bookend the space offer both an edited choice of printed books and, via built-in touchscreens, infinitely more e-books and apps. The materials would be “inexpensive but noble”- Burdifilek
For this one “the glass façade is a touchscreen that can be tapped on to download e-books from QR codes. The choice could be infinite—“the whole catalogue of the British Library..taking on Amazon with a sheet of smart glass.” – Gensler
“the digitisation of books will make bookshops redundant, but what can be saved is the cult of the book as a beautiful object. So his shop, if we can call it that, celebrates the arcane arts of printing and bookbinding. it’s the antithesis of an e-book emporium: niche, retro, social, inky, bibulous, but with only a few books to buy off the shelf. The idea is that you make your own, with the help of floating robots—choosing the paper, ink, font, leather, even gold leaf—on antique presses and binders.” – Coffey Architects
and for the lead image above one can “download reviews and e-books (which would be discounted if bought in person), buy printed books from a frequently edited selection, consult well-informed staff, have a coffee or sandwich, read in cubbyholes, listen to audio books, watch a performance by an author, rent a desk at which to write or illustrate, and self-publish on the in-house printing press.”- 20.20
But please remember:
LET’S REINVENT THE BOOKSHOP | More Intelligent Life.