I’ve just finished reading ‘SkagBoys’, Irvine Welsh’s prequel to ‘Trainspotting’, and wonder what the book would read like if the word heroin were to be replaced with books.
Anyway, this blog is already rich in posts detailing great libraries or showcasing the best bookshops, and Librairie La Fontaine by by Kawamura-Ganjavian offers some features worthy of comment:Above all, it’s the rings of shelves enclosing padded reading rooms at this bookshop that first arrested my attention.
Kawamura-Ganjavian created curling bookcases in response to SANAA’s building, which features undulating floors and ceilings pierced by cylindrical atriums. Each shelving enclave has a different size and configuration, with some encircling banks of seating and others wrapping more concentric shelves. Little book stands and trestle tables are also dotted around the store.
The bookshop was completed at the same time as the Rolex Learning Center in 2010.
Here’s some more information from Kawamura-Ganjavian:
La Fontaine is a historic bookstore inside the EPFL campus in Lausanne. Its venue moved in 2010 to the new Rolex Learning Centre designed by SANAA architects.
Taking into consideration the architectural language of the host building the bookstore is organised around 5 “pods” that articulate thematic categories. All pods are slightly different from each other, housing books or magazines on their outside and inside, and even a cozy reading cocoon.
The space moves away from a conventional aisle-and-bookshelf rigidity and creates a fluid environment with a rich variety of spaces where the customers feel at ease to explore and roam idly. The pods are as well the subtle source of indirect illumination. The project is enhanced with pieces of furniture (tables, benches, bookstands, dustbins, desk dividers) designed by the authors.
The complex geometry of the pods was made possible thanks to a smart combination of state-of-the-art numeric control manufacturing techniques and advanced Swiss cabinet-making skills.