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Client: ILGE - Amsterdam, July 2017

Assignment: concept and design for the bookstore and flexible workstations



ILGE is a leading player in the field of subscription management, online content management and collection advice on the Dutch, Belgian and German market.

In the thirty years of its existence, ILGE has found the ideal mix between traditional, customer-friendly services and surprising innovative solutions. From July 2017, ILGE relocated its office to Villa Mokum in Amsterdam, a building with studios and a plinth with retail spaces on the Spaklerweg. A new development area for living and working. In addition to the design for the innovative working environment for ILGE, a new bookstore and flexspace concept has also been accommodated in the retail space of a total of 420 m2.

The book market has been on the move for years. The share of e-books continues to grow, 6% of the total book sale is sold as e-book. The share of e-books in online sales is considerably higher: at 28% and these percentages are increasing. There are also several larger (online) providers who enter the book sale market. This development will continue in the coming years. In addition, the increasing industry blurring also plays a major role in the declining sales in the traditional book trade. We see that supermarkets, gas stations and department stores also sell books. With this knowledge of the book market we have, together with our client, developed a completely new interior concept with the working title 'the last bookstore'.

More than ever, book stores will have to respond to the rapidly changing needs of the market. The concept for the 'bookstore' has therefore become much more of a meeting place. A flexspace where you can work, meet and gather knowledge between 'empty' bookcases in an attractive space. There are various work and consultation areas at large tables in the center of the room and a few double compartment-like seats integrated into the cupboard walls. Six bubble chairs by architect Eero Aarnio are eye-catchers in the shop window. With this we emphasize the open and flexible use of the flexspace. To keep the interior concept affordable, we opted for the existing 'Kallax' cabinets from Ikea. These cabinets with different dimensions are executed in black and white and are mounted on the wall as a sculptural 'skyline'. Because the book world of adventure, knowledge and science is not black and white, we have executed the middle part with a photo print of a huge colorful bookcase. This print covers both the floor, wall and ceiling and is the only color accent in the room. The architectural structure and the installations are 'pure' and visibly present in the space. A flexible lighting concept with tracks and directional LED spots create the atmosphere. Small bubble (chair) lamps hang above the tables. The bookstore and office is separated by a facility unit where the kitchen; toilets and technical rooms. A special food concept, based on healthy, sustainable food with specialties from all over the world, is part of the total. A special website has been developed, where one can share work and meet in the bookstore with others, put together a healthy lunch and / or reserve a meeting room.

Because bookstores have to go along with the online buying and orientation behavior of the consumer, I-pads are included in the tables with which the visitor has access to an inexhaustible database with both international and local magazines, newspapers and books. You can view the publications here and, as an extra service, also order directly, the E-bookstore. The challenge is whether the bookcases remain empty or will be used to show a collection, this is possible.