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El Ateneo: Grand Old Theater Transformed into the World’s Most Ornate Bookstore

Posted By Yuka Yoneda On April 9, 2011 @ 11:45 am In Architecture,Innovation,Recycled Materials | 4 Comments

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The original building was designed by architects Peró and Torres Armengol [1]and opened as the Teatro Gran Splendid in May 1919. Like much of the architecture from the period, the interior features lavish details such as a ceiling frescoespainted by the Italian artist Nazareno Orlandi and caryatids [2] sculpted by Troiano Troiani. The transformation from theater to bookstore [3] consisted of removing the cinema seating and installing rows upon rows of bookshelves. Customers wishing to curl up with a book have their choice of many chairs scattered throughout the store including the original theater boxes. The area behind the stage is now a café.

In 2007, El Ateneo [4] Gran Splendid sold over 700,000 books and over a million people walk through its doors annually. In 2008, The Guardian places El Ateneo in the number two spot on its 2008 list of the World’s Ten Best Bookshops. [5]

+ Fernando Manzone [6]

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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/el-ateneo-grand-old-theater-transformed-into-the-worlds-most-ornate-bookstore/

URLs in this post:

[1] Peró and Torres Armengol : http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Glucksmann

[2] caryatids: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caryatid

[3] bookstore: http://inhabitat.com/beautiful-bookstore-decor-made-from-old-books/

[4] El Ateneo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Ateneo

[5] World’s Ten Best Bookshops. : http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/jan/11/bestukbookshops

[6] + Fernando Manzone: http://www.fernandomanzone.com.ar/

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