Foyles is set to open the doors at midday tomorrow on its new flagship store at 107 Charing Cross Road London, the site of the former Central Saint Martins School of Art. The bookseller, which moved just two doors along, has taken up residence in what is the largest bookstore to be built in the UK this century.
The store opens with a Grand Opening Festival with the ribbon cut by Booker Prize-winner Hilary Mantel.
Designed by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, Foyles 107 Charing Cross Road will sell a range of over 200,000 different titles on four miles (6.5km) of shelves. With 37,000 square feet of flexible retail space, spread across eight shop floors in the two halves of the four storey building, the interior layout allows for easy navigation and the serendipitous discovery of new books.
The scheme strips away a century’s ad hoc accretions to reveal the original structure of the old art school building. By enlarging the existing central lightwell, an atrium is created which floods daylight into the centre of the building. The whole bookshop is manifest and easily accessible, with only one short flight of stairs required to connect between each floor section and glazed fronted lifts servicing each shop floor.
The handsome exterior of the building has been cleaned and restored and a new rear extension enlarges the ground, first and second floors. A roof extension is clad in carefully detailed zinc and complements the beautifully crafted original brickwork below.