An undulating antiquarian bookshop in Jimbocho - ISPLORA

An antiquarian bookshop in Jimbocho


A thin line of wall dancing in the space generates partitions and helps the main function: an antiquarian bookcase designed by n o t architects studio.

This is an antiquarian bookstore located on the first floor of a building facing Yasukuni Street in Jimbocho.

The client, who originally ran a secondhand Western bookstore in this building, decided to reopen as a select store of secondhand books with other four co-owners. Each owner deals in various kinds of antiquarian books, from Western books to Japanese books, ukiyoe, hanging scrolls(kakeziku), and scrolls(makimono), so the client wanted a space where these antiquarian books can be freely arranged.

We installed only one strip of wall. The wall curves and extends outward, creating various places in the store, wrapping the building and subtly reflecting the surrounding colors, products, people's movements, and the weather. There are small holes in the wall at equal intervals, and the shelves are placed according to the needs of the moment. The shelves can be placed in pieces, mixing Western and Japanese books, connecting shelves to form a long shelf for scrolls, or removing shelves to hang hanging scrolls on the wall.

The surface of the wall is covered with a silver coating of aluminum that subtly reflects the colors of the surroundings, the movement of people, old books, and the weather of the day.

This is an antiquarian bookstore where the long history of antiquarian books and the various elements of the modern world mix with each other through the walls to create a new kind of landscape.(Aoi Nahata)


  • Press Kit: n o t architects studio / Tetsushi Tominaga Architect & Associates
  • Photographer: Yasuhiro Takagi


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