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St. Mark’s Bookshop
by Clouds Architecture Office

Located in New York’s East Village, St. Mark’s Bookshop has been selling books to ‘students, academics, artists and other discerning readers’ ever since it opened its doors in 1977. The current – already fourth – location of the much-loved local establishment has recently been completed by Clouds Architecture Office.

The brief called for a flexible space, allowing its use during special events frequently organised by the store’s proprietors. As a result, the architects wrapped the interior of the store with a continuous, slightly concave bookshelf that literally embraces the space. In the middle, the shelf bulges outwards, concealing a small office for the staff within.

‘The book shelving is designed to stimulate the ocular experience,’ say the architects. ‘Vertical supports are pulled back to pronounce the horizontal edges of the shelving and sharp corners are eliminated, allowing the eye to glide around the space without visual friction’

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