Eleutheroudakis, one of the oldest bookstores and publishing companies in Greece since 1898 known for their variety and expertise in Literature and science books, decided re-invent themselves in the contemporary aesthetics. At the times where bookstores are closing down all around the world and the idea of actually buying and reading a book has become rare, Eleutheroudakis bookstore decided to create a new flagship store in the centre of Athens to celebrate and experience again the book. If –untitled architects where commissioned to meet that challenge. Design Intent Our main goal was to create a modern, interactive and extrovert environment that will attract a younger user, as well as respecting the traditional customers of the bookstore while celebrating the Experience of reading. We played with the idea of a bookshop versus a library – and tried to design multiple ways of reading a book and experiencing it. All objects inserted in the new store from furniture to the façade introduce a way of seating, standing or lying to read. The amphitheatre connects the ground and the mezzanine floor and composes the core of the shop as well as offering an innovative experience to the customer – reader, urging him to enjoy a book in various ways and proposing a hands-on approach. It becomes the hub, the main stage of the space where all actors can interact, sit, lay, play, and work- allowing endless possibilities. The prominent position of the amphitheatre placed at the façade explores the threshold between the street and the bookshop. The amphitheatre is structurally supported by a series of shop bookcases at the bottom while at the top becomes a stage acting simultaneously as a window, stage and reading space. A new type of book organization is suggested to the design by introducing long horizontal shelves as opposed to the traditional vertical bookcases of a typical bookshop thus creating a loose more domestic atmosphere to the space. Internally a new illustration of their old logo is made by the artist Manolis Charos to mark the new identity of the shop.
PHOTOGRAPHS: VANGELIS PATERAKIS