Bookshop – Tham & Videgård with Stockholm Design Lab – Sweden

Revenant bookstore in Stockholm – Tarja Nurmi (FI) – Photography: Åke Eson Lindman

Adlibris, established in 1997 and owned by Bonnier Books, a Swedish family company, was one of the first bookstores to move the sale of books onto the Internet. But now the company has once more opened a physical bookstore in central Stockholm. Named Adlibris Marknad, the 800 m2 store contains a pickup point where customers can collect books ordered online.

The store is located at the corner of two main streets. Across the Mäster Samuelsgatan Street is the well-known flagship store of another important bookstore chain, Akademibokhandeln. In order to really stand out, Adlibris chose the now very hip and even highly praised architecture studio Tham & Videgård, together with Stockholm Design Lab, to design its store.

The architects have created an open and rough space with new shelving systems in solid wood, as well as truly solid book display tables where the newest publications, hobby materials, or colouring books are piled in vast amounts. On the right from the entrance is a row of long, impressive tables with benches for occasional reading or laptop work – or a coffee break. The light fixtures are also by Tham & Videgård, who are known for their furniture design. Signage was designed for the new store as well.

The overall image is open, a little bit bohemian, pop-uppish, and trendy. The furniture and solid fixtures also all give the message that Adlibris is here to stay, with real books and things to do with reading. Moreover, the generously dimensioned crafted wooden furniture has an old Swedish farmhouse feeling. It truly gives credibility to the idea that physical bookstores, once again, are the real thing.