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re_Forum: The Novel Bookstore

The bookstore project is located in a former shipbuilding and manufacturing hub situated in the North East of England when the Industrial Revolution happened i.e. the centre of Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK. This place has now been transformed into a centre of business, science, and arts as per information available via v2com.

It is set inside the heart of the city centre within a grand Georgian building. Back in the 1830s, this place was a cornerstone for the cities Grainger market.

This building was designed by John Dobson and till date, is one of the few surviving covered markets in Britain. It is named after Richard Grainger.

Try Andy via v2com
Try Andy via v2com

Awards are given to signify the site’s historical importance as a bookshop and also honour individuals who came to the bookshop during the 19th century. Prominently, in 1854, Giuseppe Garibaldi, the Italian Revolutionary visited the Hungarian Revolutionary Louis Kossuth and the American Reformer.

The bookshop became renowned across the city and soon became an informal meeting place for such people. Reflecting back to the time when the site was a former bookstore the “re_Forum” proposal sets out to recreate an informal place to promote the act of novel reading for a 21st-century city, taking into account the context of the site and the pragmatics to ensure the functioning of such an establishment.

The aim behind the design is to recreate an open-plan interior space that will ensure free flow movement for the visitors. This design uses the layout strategy that engages any passerby to read the novel and appreciate the content of the stories. The main objective of the proposal is to recognise the existing Grade I listed. Also, to create an open light space and improvise the existing architectural features and building layout is to be done.

In reply to the Grainger Market’s multi-entrance, free movement, interesting walkways, and encouragement of enticing the local passerby. The idea of modifying the building in accordance with the surrounding environment is the main concept.

Try Andy via v2com
Try Andy via v2com

Its main aim is to represent the City of Newcastle mainly not only the existing building itself.  The idea is to alter it by creating a space that imitates what is around the perimeter and combining it with the surroundings. Space is divided into two areas: one is functional that controls the circulation and seating area and another is promotional that involves engagement of novels.

The main glass entrance blurs the boundary of the inside and outside and spurs passersby to enter the building liberally. The ceiling’s design and bookshelves refer to the cornices and facade of Georgian Architecture. The gentle approach to the staircase helps the visitors to move carelessly and freely here and there by the means of exploring the space. There is also a restoration area present where light beverages and meals are given and visitors get attracted towards this place to sit back, relax, and enjoy.

The towering bookshelves that are placed at imperative locations cover both new and existing structural supports for the mezzanine and building. Internal architectural elements are also made for environmental attitude where people come and gather to avoid glare from incoming sunlight, which gives a more comfortable environment. In houses, there is dark-toned interior furniture that absorbs heat from low-angled winter sunlight. In contrast to it, the floors are light in colour that bounces the high-angled summer light.

Data Sheet

Project Name: re_Forum: The Novel Bookstore

Project Type: Conceptual

Location: Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

Architect/Designer: Try Andy

Use: Retail & Leisure

Area: 195 sq m

Project Year: 2017

Photo Credits: Try Andy

About: As second-year BA (Hons) Interior Architecture student from the University of Northumbria Newcastle, Try Andy has been involved in several architectural competitions locally and internationally. Being a highly enthusiastic and inspiring student especially in architectural field has made him successful in university and has received a lot of positive feedback from judging panels. In addition, this project has won multiple awards from The American Architecture Prize in 2017 including “New Discovery of the Year—Interior Design” and the main category. 

Photo Credits: Try Andy via v2com

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