The Novel Bookstore
Located in the middle of a busy yet calming city centre of Newcastle Upon Tyne in England. Surrounded by exceptional classic Victorian, Georgian buildings with significant historical background impacts to the locality and people. The unit is a corner part of the city landmark Grainger Market which was constructed in the 19th century.
The renowned streets in the area link some of the finest landmarks in England including the Grainger Market (behind), Theatre Royal (opposite), and Grey Street. Most of the buildings within Grainger border are listed in order to retain the historical value of them. It is a major retail and leisure district in the heart of Newcastle Upon Tyne.
The objective is to recreate an open plan interior space which allows free flow movement for visitors by using layout strategy to encourage any passerby to engage in the act of novel reading and appreciate the valuation of stories. As the building is Grade II listed, it is important to protect the original envelopes and skins of both exterior and interior while maintaining the optimum usage of the space.
Interior layout is a response to the Grainger Market’s multi-entrance, intersecting walkways, and free flow behavior of local passersby. The idea of adapting to surrounding environment is the main concept to represent not only the existing building itself but in a broader context such as the City of Newcastle. This idea is translated by creating a space that mimics what is around the perimeter and blends with the surrounding. From the top, the space is divided into two areas; Functional, which contains the staircase and seating area; Promotional, which serves the main purpose of the building. Offset glass main entrance blurring the boundary of outside-inside concept and stimulates passersby entering the building liberally. Bookshelves and ceiling design referring to the façade and cornices of Georgian Architecture. Charred timber surface on features increasing the drama of the novel bookstore. Light-looking staircase added ensuring visitors to freely move and explore the space. Mezzanine serves light meals and beverages for visitors to sit, relax, and read.
The double storey bookshelves are positioned at strategic spots that would conceal both existing and new structural supports for the building and mezzanine. For environmental attitude, the internal features are positioned as opposed to the sun avoiding glare from direct sunlight. The interior furniture is shaded in darker tones to absorb the heat from low-angled winter sunlight while flooring is in lighter tones to bounce the high-angled summer sunlight minimizing energy used for artificial lightings. Seating is positioned near the glazing to allow users to maximize the use of natural lighting and appreciation of outside environment.