Foyles’ new flagship “bookshop for the 21st century” will open its doors in June with a three-week Grand Opening Festival.
The Foyles flagship is moving to 107 Charing Cross Road from its former home down the road at 113-117, with the three-week long festival of literature and culture running from 11th June–4th July 2014.
Star names lined up to entertain the crowds during the festival include Sarah Waters and Simon Armitage, Michael Palin, PD James and children’s laureate Malorie Blackman. Chef and food writer Yotam Ottolenghi will also greet customers during the opening period.
Architects Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands designed the new store based on recommendations industry figures who attended workshops last year to reimagine what the new flagship should look like, run in partnership with The Bookseller.
While the finer details of the designs are being kept tightly under wraps for now, Foyles said one of the most common recommendations was that the bookshop became a cultural hub people would want to visit and a be part of.
“The new shop will build the cultural hub approach into the fabric of the building”, Foyles has told The Bookseller. The company has revealed photos of the refurbishments-in-progress, including “enormous six-metre windows either side of the entrance”, previously used to exhibit art installations by students at the building’s former tenants, Central St Martins.
Alongside book signings during the Grand Opening Festival, jazz and classical concerts will also feature at the flagship, along with lunchtime talks, topical debates, film screenings and creative workshops. Other events confirmed include a performance by the newly-formed Foyles Festival Chorus—led by Juliet Russell with both staff and customers in its number—and evenings with Foyles regulars Salon London, The White Review and Laydeez Do Comics.
Siôn Hamilton, retail operations director and manager of Foyles Charing Cross Road, said: “We’re incredibly honoured that some of the most-loved writers of our time are joining us to celebrate the opening of our new flagship bookshop, with many more still to be announced.
“Ever since the first author lectures of the 1920s, Foyles has a long heritage of supporting authors and bringing them together with their readers. The new custom-designed events spaces at Foyles 107 Charing Cross Road will continue this famous tradition in style. We look forward to welcoming the writers, thinkers, actors and readers who will shape our lives over the next century.”
Further Grand Opening Festival announcements will be made in the coming months, with tickets on sale from mid-April. For updates, follow @Foyles on Twitter or sign up to the Foyles newsletter at: www.foyles.co.uk/Public/JoinMail.aspx