Movie: Cultura Bookstore in São Paulo by Studio MK27

São Paulo bookstore walls are "clad with books" from floor to ceiling

Inside Festival 2014: architect Mariana Simas explains how Studio MK27 transformed a former São Paulo cinema into a bookshop that won the Retail category at this year's Inside Festival (+ movie).

Livraria Cultura by Studio MK27

Studio MK27's Cultura Bookstore occupies a 2,500-square-metre multi-level space in a shopping centre in São Paulo.

Livraria Cultura by Studio MK27

"We had a very special space to occupy, the former cinema," says Simas in the movie, which was filmed at Inside Festival 2014 in Singapore. "We had big spans and a double-height ceiling, so we tried to clad the walls with books themselves to use them as a dynamic pattern."

Livraria Cultura by Studio MK27

The client for the project was a Brazilian online retailer, which wanted a physical store to reinforce its brand identity.

Livraria Cultura by Studio MK27

"Most of their sales are online," Simas explains. "The brief was to create a space for people to interact rather than just a place to sell books."

"We could create a space that was not just focussed on sales, but rather a meeting point and a place to have a coffee and chat."

Livraria Cultura by Studio MK27

Studio MK27 used wood to finish the surfaces in the store that are not covered with books.

"All the other surfaces are clad with wood to create a cosy environment," Simas says. "It's a place where people feel comfortable and relate to the books in a more informal way."

Livraria Cultura by Studio MK27

The store features a raised corridor and a large bank of bleachers at one end to enable customers to reach books on the top shelves. The central space has been left open plan for flexibility.

Livraria Cultura by Studio MK27

"The space is a very lively space," says Simas. "More and more the authors want to launch their books there so they are hosting many vernissages and things are happening there."



She concludes: "There are many gatherings there: people sitting; kids playing. I think it's a very successful project in terms of how people use and occupy a common space."

Livraria Cultura by Studio MK27

Inside Festival took place at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore from 1 to 3 October. Award entries for next year's festival are open from February 2015.

We'll be publishing interviews with all the category winners from this year's show over the coming weeks. You can watch all the movies below.