Foyles’ new flagship bookstore opens in London
Doors opened to the largest new bookshop to be built in the UK this century. Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands’ design for the iconic Foyles store saw the bookseller move two doors down along Charing Cross Road, to the former Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design building.
The new Foyles flagship shop houses a range of over 200,000 different titles on four miles (6.5km) of shelves – the equivalent of lining one bank of the Thames with books from Battersea Power Station to the Tower of London. With 37,000 square feet of flexible retail space, spread across eight alternating foot-plates over four floors, it is the largest bookshop to open in the UK so far this century.
An impressive full height central atrium and large windows now fill the space with natural light, while the retail layout allows for easy navigation and the serendipitous discovery of new books.
Foyles, which was founded in 1903 by brothers William and Gilbert Foyle, first opened on Charing Cross Road in 1906 and moved to its current location at 113-119 Charing Cross Road in 1929. Declared by William Foyle to be ‘the world’s greatest bookshop’, it quickly became one of the capital’s most well-known literary landmarks. William’s daughter, Christina, built friendships with some of the leading writers of the time and pioneered bookshop author events, beginning a lecture series in the 1920s and founding the famous Foyles Literary Luncheons in 1930.
As the business has expanded again in recent years and returned to profit, with Christina’s nephew Christopher Foyle as Chairman and CEO Sam Husain at the helm, the new shop celebrates a new chapter for this world-renowned, family-owned enterprise.
Sam Husain, CEO of Foyles, said: “The opening of Foyles 107 Charing Cross Road is a hugely significant moment for us all. It is a sign of confidence in the future of the printed word and has given us the opportunity to think long and hard about what a bookshop in the 21st century should offer. It’s about discoverability, a chance to interact with authors and artists, to listen to great music in one of our many performance spaces and forging partnerships right across the cultural sector.”
Images courtesy of Hufton+Crow
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