Weinfeld took the idea of an “open concept” floor plan to an extreme, creating atriums on the ground floor so that visitors can peek at the other floors in the store. The basement was converted into a children’s reading area and theater for lectures and classes. Between the first and second floors is a book-bordered staircase.
What really makes the design of the Livraria da Vila unique is how it utilizes books not just as a product to be sold, but as a decorative element. A shopper can’t pick up one of the books that line the atrium between the basement and ground floor, for example; or the books in the pivoting, glass-fronted bookcases that serve as the store’s doors. Yet these parts of the store feel organic, using books as the basic building blocks of the design.
Through Weinfeld’s design, the Livraria is literally a house of books.
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