The most popular book store chain in Bucharest, Cărtureşti, are a few weeks away from opening a new project at the heart of the Old Town, according to Metropotam. The opening of the iconic building on 55 Lipscani Street was initially scheduled for 2014 but, due to local authority approvals, the date was postponed for the first weeks of 2015.
Over a century old, the Chrissoveloni building is also known as the Carousel of Lights, hence the name of the new venue. Cărtureşti Carusel is designed to have a dedicated theme for each of its spaces: the ground floor, the two upper levels and the basement.
Ioan Chrissoveloni, the owner of the building, explains his reason to welcome a book store in the historical building, recovered by his family after it was nationalized during the communist age: “I was little when the Communists came, I was 5 years old. But still I got to see how Bucharesters really loved life, loved it in a certain, specific way. They loved the refinement as well as the gregariousness, they loved socializing with style, they loved books, theater, music, of course, in many cases out of snobbery. But even that snobbery had something charming. (…) Now I want to give something back to the city. A book store like this would answer very well to my wish of bringing back something of the style and lust for life of Bucharesters of my time. I think that the recovery of buildings by their rightful owners (a procedure not easy) is, in the end, not only an effect of the revolution of ’89, but actually a different kind of a revolution. A small one, on a personal, particular level, but which, multiplied by the number of people, produces a major change. Of course, it’s up to what the owners of the returned buildings actually do with them … I chose to renovate it and give it life. This is, in itself, one way to build … “.
The book store is expected to open at the end of January or beginning of February. The book store chain gained its popularity particularly for widening the concept of book retail to the level of a cultural experience, through contemporary design projects signed by well-known Romanian architects, hip cultural events, along with niche products accompanying the book offer.