Lampoon, Casa Bosques, Esrawe by Héctor Esrawe
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Librería Casa Bosques, Mexico City. What the digital era cannot offer, is to be found here

A bookstore that dates back to the beginning of the Twentieth century, sustaining a style that belonged to the period of Mexican dictator, Porfirio Diaz

Librería Casa Bosques, Mexico City

In November 2012, Mexico City was a destination for museums, galleries and institutions, it had a cultural scene, but a bookstore in art and design was missing. That is when Jorge de la Garza and his business partner, Rafael Prieto, stepped in and founded Librería Casa Bosques. A side project of their creative studio Savvy, directed by the Prieto. When the duo opened Librería Casa Bosques, Mexico City – as called from the neighborhood name in which Savvy Studio was located, Bosques Del Valle, in Monterey – they wanted to achieve two goals.

In Mexico, at the time, there was a limited access to international magazines and independent publications. They wanted to find a way to break this limitation. They had the aspiration to concentrate on the local independent publishing scene. Sharing occurred between galleries, artistic spaces and institutions. The reference concept of the bookstore clashed with the wishes of the consumers. Librería Casa Bosques offered books on subjects and artists that were not available before this. People found themselves alienated in front of what they did not recognize and publications they hadn’t seen before. The bookstore then started to include editions familiar to the local audience.

Lampoon, Lucie And Luke Meier, 21, Dan Thawley
Lucie And Luke Meier, 21, Dan Thawley. Courtesy Casa Bosques

The annual Index Art Book Fair

Today, Librería Casa Bosques is a landmark in the local and international independent publishing field. What assures the bookstore this selection is Index Art Book Fair. This occurs annually in Mexico City through a group of four colleagues that organize it, including De la Garza and Prieto. The fair is a resource to find publishers with which to collaborate. The network gravitating around the fair and the process of selection comes from listening to the members of the community. Having a bookstore means having to exclude. «If you want to do a job that lives up to your standards, you need to focus on disciplines and time periods». The bookstore stocks contemporary art and design subjects. They have included modernism and modern art.

Following the political climate of today, themes of migrations, feminism, communities and resistance are part of book sections. One can count on encountering. Anarchy explained to children by José Antonio Emmanuel, Imprimir es resistir about posters concerning the last year protests in Chile or Muxelandia. Categories and subcategories compose the websites channeling the user into a targeted research process, leaving no room for discovery.

Restyling by Savvy Studio

Walking in the neighborhood of Roma, at Cordoba 25 there is a light box on the side wall. It states Casa Bosques and of studios and shops that live inside the building. Every night they bring inside the signboard. The building that gives home to Librería Casa Bosques, Mexico City is ‘catalogada’, a ‘so called’ house in Mexico; describing a non modifiable construction.

The house dates back to the beginning of the Twentieth century and has absorbed influences from Europe and the United States; generating a style that belonged to the period of Mexican dictator, Porfirio Diaz. The staircase is brutalist and the windows associated to Frank Lloyd Wright: they are original. Savvy Studio restyled the interiors. The first to be located in the building having its office upstairs, followed by the shops and galleries whom it supports in creative direction.

Publication offer at Librería Casa Bosques

The interiors of the house are white in order to assure continuity and unity between the studio and the shops. In the bookstore the backdrop helps the books contrast and become protagonists. The publications offered at Librería Casa Bosques, Mexico City concern art, architecture and design. They are colorful and their aesthetic is what people focus on. Not the shelves are to be invisible, excluding a wooden one, designed in collaboration with Jorge Diego Etienne.

The wooden wall as a system, made of blocks that can be pushed backwards and forwards, changing the shelving once a month. The material – wood, styled with carpets and reading corners contributes to the atmosphere of comfort; considering the bookstore is located in what used to be the living room of the house. The set design consents to the space flexibility, making it adaptable to hold book launches, talks, signings, performances and screenings from Kim Gordon to Devendra Banhart and Dora Garcia to Cally Spooner.

Lampoon, Oscar Hagerman, Arquitectura Y Diseño
Oscar Hagerman, Arquitectura Y Diseño. Courtesy Casa Bosques

Jorge de la Garza’s background

The interaction between publishing and artistic expression has its roots in the background of Jorge de la Garza. He trained in London as a visual artist and then as an editorial designer at an art magazine; experimenting with installations, archive videos or fragments of books that translate into collages. Plants populate every corner of the store and the choice of having them find its roots in the concept within the identity of the brand. From wood and plants to paper and books.

Librería Casa Bosques is not plastic-friendly, recycling the packaging, except in some cases. Book promotions end up in a discount section. At the same time magazines go to a recycling center near the building. Cultural places and connected services characterize the neighborhood Roma. Once inhabited by Mexicans from wealthy families, from the beginning of the Twentieth century immigrants concentrated in the area, until an earthquake in 1985 upset the layout.

A Mexican tradition of diversity and inclusivity

After the natural disaster, a crowd started repopulating the neighborhood. They felt connections to the DNA of the place, where artists Leonora Carrington and writer Williams Burroughs used to live. Artists, designers, architects, writers, publishers and collectors have a reason to walk in Librería Casa Bosques. A Mexican tradition of diversity and inclusivity follow path on the shelves of Librería Casa Bosques as you find a piece of pottery next to a book.

This happens when the two partners decide to exhibit objects in the bookshop as with ceramics of the artist Perla Valtierra. The project to introduce chocolates started when Savvy Studio supported the first collaboration and has been incorporated by Librería Casa Bosques. Each chocolate has recommended pairings with wine and spirits. The process behind the choices start from the cacao source and the ingredients grace the packaging and graphic works; promoting collaborations with artists and chefs: the next one will be with artist, Laurence Wiener.

Librería Casa Bosques

Córdoba 25, col. Roma norte, Alcaldía cuauhtémoc, Mexico City, Mexico

Elizabeth Germana Arthur

The writer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article.

check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us

check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore
Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only
natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us at [email protected]

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