Text description provided by the architects. Contrapunto, a Chilean book shop that specializes in architecture, design, art, photography and illustrated books, invited us to develop a new concept for their most recent store. The atmosphere, architecture and design should act as a support for the book world, and deliver a pleasant environment were the content and the aesthetics of the books were the main characters.
The project should solve the coexistence of three main book subjects: illustrated books (architecture, design, art, photography, landscaping, cooking and children's books), novels and medical books. With a neutral, sober and atemporal aesthetic, the architecture solves the problem through light, proportion and space.
The main design decision was to understand the context and location of the shop: an irregular space with a 10 meter facade and a 5 meter height. These details were the basis to define a new way of approaching a commercial space.
The second floor was conceived to use the front of the shop, leaving a double height access and bookshelf area. The 3.8 meter high perimeter was used to create a grand bookshelf for the illustrated books. The novels and children's books were located in a floor level area, while the second floor was left exclusively for medical books. The entrance door is a 5 meter high, three sheet folding iron structure that inserts into a lateral marble wall.
The tour through the store begins in the exterior, were the shop window was conceived as a piece of continuous furniture for book exhibition, cash desk, counter and consult desk. Once in the inside of the store, the grand bookshelf leads the route through the different areas.
The materials used in this project were open pore travertine marble and crystal for the facade; black iron for the entrance door, paquio wood for the bookshelves and lapacho wood for the floors, both of which are native Bolivian woods.