Contemporary and modernist architecture, theaters, stations and churches transformed into book stores
From a Dominican church transformed into a book shop in Maastricht, the Netherlands, from the studio of Dutch architects Merkx + Girod, to the modernist Livraria Lello and Irmão of Porto, Portugal, built in a modernist and neo-Gothic style by the Portuguese engineer Francisco Xavier Esteves is was inaugurated in 1906.
There are many libraries considered “the most beautiful in the world” characterized by particular architectures and editorial choices of great quality.
From English Barter Books, located in Alnwick, one of the largest used book libraries in Great Britain created from an old Victorian railway station – also famous because the popular Keep Calm and Carry On poster was found in one of its boxes in 2000 – at the Ateneo Grand Splendid in Buenos Aires, housed in an elegant 1920s theater.
El Ateneo Grand Splendid was initially a theater designed by the architects Peró and Torres Armengol for the entrepreneur Max Glucksman and inaugurated in May 1919. In 1929 it was transformed into a cinema: it was the first to project sound films in Argentina. It became a bookstore in 2000.
In Milan we chose 10 Corso Como, the library of one of the most important spaces dedicated to design and art and in Lisbon Ler Devagar (in Portuguese it means “to read slowly”), with the characteristic flying bicycle and the books crammed up to the ceiling.
In Paris, we recommend the Shakespeare and company bookshop, which specializes in English literature. It was founded by George Whitman in 1951 with the name of Mistral and changed its name in 1964.
And finally Bart’s Books, in Ojai, California, the largest open-air bookshop in the world.