Lumsden Design creates new bookshop for National Theatre

Lumsden Design has designed a new bookshop at the National Theatre, which is undergoing a major reconfiguration overseen by master plan architects Haworth Tomkins.

National Theatre Bookshop by Lumsden Design
National Theatre Bookshop by Lumsden Design

Part of this work has seen the foyer remodeled and the shop moved from the front of the building to the river-side where it will join café’s and restaurants designed by Haworth Tomkins.

The new bookshop features a dedicated reading area with banquette seating and traditional reading lights and a 20-meter long wall of books.

Creative director Callum Lumsden says he was asked to drive Theatre goers to the new shop space, which is situated near to several spaces designed by Haworth Tomkins.

National Theatre Bookshop by Lumsden Design
National Theatre Bookshop by Lumsden Design

Haworth Tomkins has created all day dining café Kitchen, a new bar based on the traditional pub The Understudy, and restaurant and bar House.

Lumsden says he has looked to the original design of the building by Denys Lasdun for inspiration.

“The spirit of the design follows the palette and scale of how Lasdun designed that building,” says Lumsden who has brought wengee timber, red lacquered wood, stained oak and a stone tile floor into the 180m2 space. 

National Theatre Bookshop by Lumsden Design

Source: Dan Marshall

National Theatre Bookshop by Lumsden Design

The shop is primarily a bookshop selling theatrical books but it also reflects what else goes on in the theatre and sells “lots of subversive things – jewellery, gifts, toys, and products supporting each production”, Lumsden says.

A flexible merchandising system has been created so that the store can adapt to what it is selling.

Lumsden worked with the prop department on the design of a secret door disguised as a bookshelf, allowing staff to slip into the stockroom.

Secret passage – National Theatre Bookshop by Lumsden Design
Secret passage – National Theatre Bookshop by Lumsden Design

Over time the covers of these dummy books will be signed by actors and authors working at The National.

House at The National Theatre by Haworth Tomkins

Source: Alex Simms

House at The National Theatre by Haworth Tomkins

Kitchen at The National Theatre by Haworth Tomkins

Source: Dan Marshall

Kitchen at The National Theatre by Haworth Tomkins

Understudy by Haworth Tomkins

Source: Dan Marshall

Understudy by Haworth Tomkins

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