“The perfect book from the movies,” as Muscovites, Nizhny Novgorod residents, Rostov residents and residents of other cities write about this institution (Petersburgers are just used to it), grew by a floor last year. On the first floor there is now a stationery store, on the second — a coffee shop with delicious buns.
Subscription Editions is a store with a history. It was founded in 1926 and, they say, was not closed even during the blockade, but changed its location several times. For the last sixty years, it has been located in the building of the New Passage at 57 Liteyny. The two-story structure in the Northern Art Nouveau style was designed by architects Nikolai Vasiliev and Alexey Bubyr in 1912-1913. The store acquired its current appearance in 2012, when the owners decided to renovate it in accordance with a new concept. The book and stationery stores have merged with the Volkonsky coffee shop — and a new page has opened in the history of Subscription Publications.
The redesign was carried out by the Architectural Bureau of Kira Grishina and Konstantin Nikolaev with the participation of famous St. Petersburg illustrators and co-owner of the store Mikhail Ivanov. The concept was that a bookstore should be a place you don’t want to leave.
Since then, “Subscription publications” have been steadily growing. In 2017, the trading hall expanded due to the addition of an adjacent room, and last year it also occupied the second floor, which previously housed a nightclub.
Creating the interior, the authors of the project (Kira Grishina, Konstantin Nikolaev, Anna Zhuravleva) focused primarily on the image of the building. The height of the ceilings made it possible to add mezzanines and balconies with stairs, on which the motifs of ancient forging were repeated. The stained glass windows were painted on the model of one of the historical stained glass windows. With an eye on the era, showcases and chandeliers were made, floors made of Metlakh tiles were selected according to the same principle.
The magic of “Subscription Publications” is the result of well—thought-out logistics. The cash register is at the entrance, but when people enter the hall, they do not see it, they are attracted by the prospect of a store with high shelves up to the ceiling. After passing through the thickness of books and snatching the right ones, they get into a coffee shop where they can leisurely examine their prey over a cup of coffee.
After resting and thinking about the book, the person again passes through the book rows and finds himself near the windows, where tables with chairs are arranged. He can sit with a beautiful view of Liteyny Prospekt, think and only then, having finally decided on the choice, go to the checkout. This is how the ritual of buying books is performed. The smell of coffee and buns, which all visitors remember, is an important part of it.