Librairie La Fontaine is a historic bookstore inside the EPFL campus in Lausanne. Its venue moved in 2010 to the new Rolex Learning Centre designed by SANAA architects. Taking into consideration the architectural language of the host building the bookstore is organised around 5 “pods” that articulate thematic categories.
All pods are slightly different from each other, housing books or magazines on their outside and inside, and even a cozy reading cocoon. The space moves away from a conventional aisle-and-bookshelf rigidity and creates a fluid environment with a rich variety of spaces where the customers feel at ease to explore and roam idly.
The pods are as well the subtle source of indirect illumination. The project is enhanced with pieces of furniture (tables, benches, bookstands, dustbins, desk dividers) designed by the authors. The complex geometry of the pods was made possible thanks to a smart combination of state-of-the-art numeric control manufacturing techniques and advanced Swiss cabinet-making skills.