Wednesday, 5 September 2012

An amazing Waterstone's


Another of Bradford's hidden treasures is its branch of Waterstone's, the booksellers.  At eye level it looks fairly much like any other bookshop, same shelves, same titles - but lift your eyes up from the reading material and gasp in amazement! The shop is creatively housed in the incredible Victorian building that was Bradford's Wool Exchange - the place where the wealthy merchants (presumably including Sir Titus Salt) gathered to buy and sell wool, to gossip and to network. Built between 1864-67 (around the time that the construction of Saltaire was completed) it was designed by the same architects, Lockwood and Mawson, in Venetian Gothic style.  Wool was last traded there in the 1960s. It was Grade 1 listed in 1963 and its fine hammer-beam roof is a particular feature.  (See here for more detail about its architecture.)

The building has been improved in recent years, I would say, by the insertion of a wall of plate glass on one side that lightens the interior and makes it possible to appreciate the detailing.  There is a Starbucks coffee shop high up on a mezzanine floor and sitting up there you get a fine view of the whole room.

10 comments:

  1. What a fabulous place!two of my favorite things, books and an amazing architecture!

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  2. This a branch of Waterstones I would definitely be paying a visit to. Lucky inhabitants of Bradford!

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  3. An amazing structure and a superb photo!

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  4. Wow. What a sensational place. I would love to stand amongst those books and gaze at this superb structure. Looks like a set from a Harry Potter movie.

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  5. I sure is a grand building and it is great to see it still being used.

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  6. A bookstore PLUS interesting architecture. I might never leave, especially since coffee also is available.

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  7. It is a wonderful building. The interior view is great. What a great place to have a bookstore.

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  8. What an amazing repurposing of a grand building. (shame about the Starbucks, though. I prefer Costa)

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  9. I think I would be inspired to buy more books just because of the wonderful atmosphere.

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  10. What a wonderful space! Books and Starbucks. That is hard to beat!!!

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