Project Area: 766.24 sqm
Collaborators: Marcelo Alvarenga, Katherina Ortner
The projects for Livraria da Vila bookstores have been developed from a core idea, which helped define the character of the brand/commercial venue as well as a working method: while developing a range of strong identity elements, we strived to tackle the particular challenges in each new project – mostly related to its location – and create something fresh from a established concept.
The smallest unit in the bookstore, the starting point for the project, was the book. Books dominate the spaces, cover the walls and fill out the shelves, but are also stacked on scattered pieces of furniture and even in piles on the floor. The strongest identity element in Livraria da Vila bookstores was developed from the book: the shelves, the supports for the books. Made of dark wood, they cover walls, divide spaces and even become pivoting window displays and entry doors to the stores. The shelves embrace the reader, inviting to explore the book and the venue, in the fashion and mood of old bookstores and second-hand book shops.
The target of the project is the customer-reader, that someone who at times is after something specific, at others gazes slowly, browsing the shelves in search of old emotions or new horizons. In addition to a well organized jumble of books of all genres, customers may also enjoy appropriate lighting and easy chairs, sofas and seats scattered around the various areas, as to allow them to check out their choices and findings leisurely. The venues where the different bookstores are located, all large, are also designed as to provide a feeling of quasi-privacy, achieved through the distribution of the shelves, the creation of mezzanines, the lowered ceilings or the definition of smaller recesses connected to the main area. The exception is the children’s books section, where the shelving units are white and the spaces light and airy, to receive the colors of the publications and the joy of the little users.
The Livraria da Vila store located at Pátio Higienópolis Mall is the third project developed by the architect, and the second inside a shopping mall, with its own rules and limitation for the set-up of the stores. Even conforming to those rules, the project retained the elements that define the stores’ identity. Dark wooden shelves take up all walls, servings as lower displays, and even taking on the form of pivoting window display/door. Soft chairs and desks are distributed throughout the various areas, encouraging customers to browse and read the works and, thus, stay longer.
The one-story 760 m2 space was organized from the creation of a small atrium, intended to magazines and paper supplies, which serves as reception hall, followed by a large round room giving access – through different height, different width passages – to three specialized literature rooms, an auditorium and a café, all independent venues one from the other, but organized as satellites of the large central space.