JK Iguatemi Mall
|Sao Paulo, Brazil
The projects for Livraria da Vila bookstores, in the city of São Paulo, have been developed from a core idea that helped define the character of the brand and of the commercial venue, as much 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 strongest identity element in Livraria da Vila bookstores was developed from the book, the smallest unit in the store – and that is the shelf or, better yet, the extensive shelving covering walls, dividing spaces and even becoming pivoting window displays and entry doors to the stores. Dark-wood shelves embrace and invite the reader to explore the venue, in the fashion and mood of old libraries and second-hand bookshops.
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 JK Iguatemi Mall is the fourth project we developed for the chain, and the third inside a shopping mall.
A rectangular 1,700 m2 space, dotted by a scheme of robust square pillars, featuring 4.50-meter ceilings and a large window overlooking a park, was organized as to concentrate all supporting activities to sales and staff – in addition to the café, the children’s section and a small auditorium on the mezzanine – on two sides of the rectangle, thus forming a wide square room to display books.
The space allocated to the project of this bookstore prompted the departure from the small rooms reminiscent of old second-hand book shops and small libraries, to own and enhance the characteristics of vastness and monumentality. The entrance through the pivoting doors, which also doubles as shelf and window display leads to a small, low-ceilinged entrance hall intended to showcase magazines, accentuating the contrast with the wide high-ceilinged room where books are displayed. The wooden shelving rises to a height of 2.5 meters and lets go firstly of the floor, and then of the walls… to snake in the center of the hall, embracing the pillars without concealing them. The amoeba-like design of the shelves around the space of the hall – with its openings, curves and corners – creates private nooks for consultations and reading, characteristic of all Livraria da Vila bookstores.
Text by Cecilia Rodrigues dos Santos