Siza Vieira accepts to create a project for a new cultural space at Livraria Lello

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Livraria Lello celebrates its 115th anniversary with the announcement of projects to enhance Book and Culture: the creation of a new cultural space, in the adjoining building, in an intervention signed by Álvaro Siza Vieira, and the purchase of the estate of the historic Coimbra Editora.

Álvaro Siza Vieira, one of the greatest Portuguese architects of all time and one of the most internationally awarded, winner of the Pritzker Prize, accepted the invitation to sign the requalification project at number 148 of Rua das Carmelitas, bringing to Livraria Lello the work already underway by the Pedro Pinto Family in other icons of the city and region's heritage.

Located next to the Most Beautiful Bookstore in the World, this will be a building with its own soul, dedicated to culture and with different features, contributing to increasing the cultural and tourist offer of the city. The date of January 13, 2021, on which the 115th anniversary of Livraria Lello is celebrated, remains, therefore, for history as the moment when the acceptance of the award-winning architect's invitation for his first intervention in a building in the Oporto Historic Center, was announced.

According to Aurora Pedro Pinto, administrator of Livraria Lello, “the realization of this dream means an investment not only in Livraria Lello but also in the city”.

With the creation of a new space dedicated to culture, Livraria Lello intends to offer a more qualified experience to readers and visitors, to increase the cultural offer, starting from the Book, having its own soul and program, and which, in parallel, will become linked to Livraria Lello, facilitate the movement of people inside number 144 of Rua das Carmelitas.

The project announced by the president of the Board of Directors of Livraria Lello was praised by the Secretary of State for Tourism, Rita Marques, who highlighted the way “Livraria Lello has managed to reinvent itself over time”.

Livraria Lello acquires a collection from Coimbra Editora

At the ceremony to commemorate the 115th anniversary, Livraria Lello also revealed that it acquired the estate of the historic Coimbra Editora, which closed its doors in 2020, exactly in the year in which it celebrated 100 years of existence.

Reaffirming the “hope in the power of Culture and Books”, Aurora Pedro Pinto defended the need to “preserve the book heritage, part of Portugal's cultural identity”. “We acquired the collection that belonged to Coimbra Editora with the clear objective that these books would not be lost”, she argued.

Among the assets of Coimbra Editora, now acquired by Livraria Lello, there are first editions of works by Miguel Torga, as well as publications by Marcelo Caetano and António de Oliveira Salazar and works by Vergílio Ferreira and Eugénio de Andrade.

The acquisition of these books is part of a larger project that Livraria Lello has been developing, in order to preserve the book's heritage.

Symbolically, and as a tribute to Coimbra Editora, the opening of Livraria Lello's doors, on his birthday, was carried out by one of the oldest employees of that publisher.

This Wednesday also revealed the transformation of the iconic red staircases of Livraria Lello, which, until April, will be painted in yellow and gray, the colors of the Pantone year, in an allusion to the path you want to travel: of strength and hope in the Book and in Culture.


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