Sophia bookshop and publishing house by
Nicos Kalogirou and Evangelos Kotsioris



Architect Nicos Kalogirou and student Evangelos Kotsioris have completed the interior of a book store and publishing house in Thessaloniki, Greece.


Glass panels arranged in a spiral create the shop windows and display space.


Lighting is provided through an angled, translucent glass structure hanging from the ceiling and the back-lit shelving that frames the shop counters.


Other materials include steel, silver-lacquered laminated wood panels, clear Plexiglass and grey flooring.


The interior was completed in 2008.


The following text is from Nicos Kalogirou:


Bookshop/publishing house ‘sophia’
Thessaloniki, Greece

The transformation of a former pesticide warehouse into an inviting, ‘transparent’ bookshop and a small publishing house gave the chance to experiment with multiple glass layers, triangulated surfaces, distorted geometries and non-standard construction methods in a manageable scale.


Two vertically folded, spiraling, glass trapezoids form the labyrinth-like shop windows and a recessed entrance. Clear volumes of ever-increasing height towards the interior of the spirals serve as display surfaces on multiple levels. The multiplicity of the glass layers generates unexpected idols and multiple reflections that change dramatically according to natural and artificial lighting conditions.


The angular, winding forms of the two service stalls result from the distortion of an initially rectangular, 15m. long, linear piece (as requested by the client). Their geometry is complimented by the sphenoid forms of a custom-made, back-lit trapezoid shelf system that stands behind them. Stalls and shelves direct visually to the inner part of the elongated plan.


A triangulated back-lit ‘cloud’ surface hanging from the double-height void acts as a lighting body. The angled steel and glass staircase leads to an interior balcony with an office (overlooking directly the entrance below) and a small conference room.


To maximize construction time, singular pieces were cut by CNC (computer numeric control) machines while the seemingly singular elements of the shelf system are actually the result of an irregular placing of 3 shelf units that create single and double height shelf surfaces. Additionally, all internal vertical support elements of the stalls are broken down to only 2 repeated pieces. Above: stalls


The biggest part of the low budget was used in favor of the clear and translucent safety glass while for the rest of the elements the following rough materials with minimum treatment were chosen; uncolored protected steel, rough silver lacquered laminated wooden panels, clear Plexiglas and reflective heavy-duty industrial flooring in light gray. Above: shelves


Above: shelves elevation


Above: ground floor plan


Designer details
Designer: Nicos Kalogirou, Evangelos Kotsioris
Name of photographer: Nicos Kalogirou
City: Thessaloniki
Country: Greece

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Posted on Wednesday April 8th 2009 at 11:20 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • jarjarWaters


    A sophisticated back drop for product and space.

    I’ll shop there soon!!!!

  • Sumisha

    Nice! can dezeen/someone help me with the contact details(email) of the designer/architect?

  • greg

    Glass is the most unfavorable material because of it’s ugli green edge….as thiker the glass as uglier the impact….sorry

  • BMJT

    Doesn’t really say bookshop/publishers to me…narrative?

  • Brian


    I want his EMAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • rotweiler

    well, I’d like to see some books in there, since it’s a bookstore. it’s almost impossible to appreciate good architecture (or bad one for that matter), when it’s lacking it’s main context and, therefore, function.

  • clean…..

  • They have taken some notes from apple, but it’s a glorious space for a book store. Who knew people were still serious about books in this way?

  • Rein

    I’d love to see what it looks like with inventory and customers. Anything this transparent must be there to show off the inhabitants!

  • windbag

    not a very subtle treatment of glass, all the black frames spoil the inner feeling of lightness and transparency that the material should communicate.

  • M

    and where are the books??? …
    …I am really sorry for the cleaning person, not an easy task.

  • Jane Mulvey

    good work Vangelis!!!!

  • Laura

    Cool and clever, stylish and timeless – beautiful!

  • greg are you mad?

  • J

    Stunning, but without the books it is hard to tell how it will really work

  • Dave

    I love the twisted, angled and arbitrary mazes of glass. The only thing that can make this better is a small slice of cheese.

  • A

    Well, the real thing is much different than the renderings….
    the green turns easily to grey due to dust as well.. :-/

  • N

    This is in my hometown and unfortunately the real thing is nothing to write home about. In fact, I had a hard time remembering where exactly this bookshop is since I had never thought much of it. The drawings and renderings are much more impressive than the actual shop. I do like the shapes and layering but the materials do not evoke lightness and “clouds”. To me the space says “cold” and “confusing reflections”. These architects have produced much better work.