Interior design 2018 | Refurbishment of a listed bookshop in the ground floor of a medieval tenement house on Kraków’s Main Market square | Team: Jan Strumiłło, Julia Jankowska, Tymek Jezierski | Photography by Leszek Ogrodnik

We are proud to have redesigned one of the oldest bookshops in Europe and definitely the oldest one in Poland. Having tested us thoroughly again and again, Empik has trusted us with the task of finding new form for three rooms of the shop located in a listed medieval building at the Rynek Główny 23 in Kraków. The prestigious and exceptional location was not the only challenge: two of the rooms are dedicated to Wisława Szymborska and Czesław Miłosz –  Nobel prize laureates in literature. They are connected to the bookshop front via a long staircase corridor. The building features many original medieval details, such as carved stone portals, massive timber soffit beams and exposed brick walls which we wanted to protect and highlight. We decided to use natural materials – veneered blockboard and textured textiles – to give the rooms a cosy home feeling. I invited the artist Tymek Jezierski to decorate the vaulted corridor with a mural. He painted a collection of portraits of Krakow’s foremost literati on the long corridor’s vault in a striking black-and-white composition. It was a long journey – two full years from the first sketch to the opening, but now it’s open for everyone to see and enjoy.

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