Rio de Janeiro’s Saraiva Bookstore was conceived as a hybrid between a public square and a library and it’s a place for conviviality, leisure, concentration and relax.
Designed by Studio Arthur Casas, its architecture simple and inviting spreads across the four storeys of the building allowing the reading material to take prominence.
The challenge for Studio Arthur Casas in the store design has been to organize myriad information without creating a monotonous store and stimulating people to stay, read and interact in a welcoming atmosphere.
Located inside a shopping mall, visitors enter through a double-height volume where shelves and showcases seem to float in order to highlight books and objects. Multimedia Spaces, a cafe, an auditorium and the children’s space are located in the basement floors.
Some shelves are suspended by rails so that the flexible layout can accommodate different configurations; the shelves closer to the floor are inclined so that the titles of the books can be read by a standing person.
Showcases were designed so one book would not prevail over others, inviting visitors to stroll around the diversity of titles.
In the showroom design, Brazilian walnut has been employed in all spaces as warm and neutral backdrop for the variety of colours and textures of books and objects.
Platforms of different heights are occupied by objects that explore several sections, so tables are organized by themes that mix books with new media and playful items.
The bespoke ceramic floor was developed to be more reflective and accentuate the lightning effect beneath the millwork.
Grey tones highlight the electronic content and organic showcases support interactivity.
In the children’s space, neutrality is broken by a multicoloured ramp that invites the kids to explore the titles bringing the space down to their scale.
Trapezoidal niches are a playful interpretation of the architectural vocabulary employed in the rest of the bookstore, creating a separate world for the youngsters.
Armchairs and ottomans are spread throughout the bookstore. Brazilian design items, such as the Paulistano Chair by Paulo Mendes da Rocha and Beg Armchair by Sérigio Rodrigues, invite readers and customers to spend time inside the store and enjoy their stay.
Rio de Janeiro’s Saraiva Bookstore by Studio Arthur Casas is one of the commercial project shortlisted for the LEAF Awards 2015.