of“Mankind is responsible for the plastic translation of the cultural and historic process of human agglomeration,” says architect Fernando Brandão. The architecture of Livraria Cultura Paulista begins with a figural gesture that turns into the images, ghosts, ideas, or visions of the space; a place where intuition and knowledge are mixed together. Since the beginning, the project had the intention to integrate the new Livraria Cultura with the Conjunto Nacional. Thus, right in the store’s entrance will have a ramp that will lead to the principal entrance in the mezzanine. Under the ramp lies an open space that links directly with Alameda Santos, working as a mall and featuring plasma-screen televisions showing daily information about the Livraria Cultura.
Going up the ramp and entering in the store, there are two options; head down the internal ramp (that was the principal idea of the project and thus kept originally) and have the access to the magazines, books, coffee and to the reservation department, or go up to the mezzanine, where one can find many departments such as a children’s books section, arts and also a section for CDs and DVDs. At the back of the store, at this same level, there is a technical area only for the staff. From the mezzanine one has a clear view of the role of the store. Access to the first floor level is by stair or elevator. This same floor hosts more book sections, as well as a special room for Jazz and Classics that exists in the other Livraria Cultura stores. Additionally on this floor, there is an auditorium for 160 people and another technical area. In a privileged spot in the store there is a reserved area for book / autograph signings and book release events, regular at Livraria Cultura.
Brandão describes the project as “an expression of the imaginary that develops itself; exploring, extending without closing new territories beyond the frontiers established by pre-statements. The Livraria Cultura, as well as the Conjunto Nacional’s building, thus turn themselves into an important aspect of our collective unconscious. The spirit of a society is made, transmitted and realised by the cultural objects the society gives itself and that live within it.”