Almost every day the newspapers are full of wailing about the demise of the High Street. It is interestingly it is always the fault of someone or something else – a cold winter; business rates, internet shopping; fickle customers – it is never the fault of the retailers or the property developers themselves. Yet, I went last week to buy something in London, and came back empty handed – there was nothing that caught my imagination. If retailers cannot catch willing customers, what hope is there?
So, what is the bookshop of the future. There are many examples that include coffee shops, art spaces, dvd and music outlets and spaces for author/book readings. How many do you know also sell wine and include workspaces for young entrepreneurs. But, this may be the future. Why is it that Second Home in Spitalfields also owns a bookshop to support community, cultural and literature activities.
Carturesti Carusel in Bucharest shows the way for bookshops and for the high street. Architects Adrian Cancer-Zeana and Sabin Dumitriu from Square One have used Gaudiesque curves in the new cool white interior which rises up around a large space through the building, allowing the books, art, wine, souvenirs, dvds and other colourful items to shine out from the white background. On the top floor is a café surrounded by workspaces for young entrepreneurs to hang out and develop their multi-million pound businesses.
This is a place you want to visit, to hang around in and to explore. How many high streets have such spaces to encourage you to visit and linger?