Design Detail: Thalia Bookstore, Hagen, Germany

A pilot for the bookstore’s European rollout, this renovated store design embraces simplicity and comfort to craft a fun, immersive literary environment
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Posted July 8, 2019

Concept: A pilot for the bookstore’s European rollout, this renovated store design embraces simplicity and comfort to craft a fun, immersive literary environment.

1 Neat & Tidy
An open concept eliminates blind spots, a pain point in the retailer’s former go-to store design. “We completely redesigned the space, making it easier to see all categories from both inside and outside the bookstore,” explains David Rook, Director of Retail Design, JHP Design (London). Zones blend from one to the next thanks to thoughtful navigation.

2 Fine Tuned
Used in a variety of ways, track lighting proved most flexible in this space. Reading zones feature soft ambient lighting, while task-oriented areas use suspended track and downlighting. Warm LEDs with a 2700K color temperature create a moody environment that suits the rest of the location’s aesthetic.

3 Out on a Limb
Adding to the concept’s playfulness, a focal merchandising element features decorative slats that mimic the branches of a tree, metaphorically referencing the Greek goddess, Thalia, daughter of Zeus, who according to legend was transformed into a pine tree.

4 Mix It Up
Breaking up the space with textural variations, the flooring combines timber – a familiar material used in bookstores – and carpeting, which “provide[s] a psychological feeling of warmth and absorbs sound,” says Carolina Comsa, Interior Designer, JHP.

5 Deep Dive
Interactive digital signage uses near-field communication (NFC) so users can engage with literature. “They can connect with the wall … and see passages from their favorite books ‘magically’ appear as they walk by,” says Emma Louise Anderson, JHP’s Design Head of Digital and UX. It also acts as a vessel for livestream sessions with authors and book characters.

Project Suppliers

Retailer
Thalia, Hagen, Germany

Design
JHP Design, London

Photography: Constantin Meyer, Cologne, Germany