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Architectural drawing

  • Place of origin:

    Sao Paulo (made)

  • Date:

    2007 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Weinfeld, Isay (architect)
    Alvarenga, Marcelo

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pencil on tracing paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Isay Weinfeld Studio

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case A, shelf 221

Isay Weinfeld is an award winning Brazilian architect with over 30 years of architectural experience designing civic spaces, residential homes, commercial buildings, hotels and restaurants in Brazil and worldwide. This collection of architectural drawings for the Livraria da Vila bookshop in Sao Paulo is a good example of the architectural design process, showing both rough perspective plans as well as more highly finished interior schemes.

The architectural drawings were created for the Livraria da Vila bookshop in the prestigious Jardim Paulista area of Sao Paulo. As a result of the widely acclaimed structure, Weinfeld was commissioned to design two subsequent Livraria da Vila branches located around Brazil. Weinfeld’s design brief was to create a space that reflected the client’s belief that bookstores should be cultural hubs as well as places of commerce. To achieve this, Weinfeld incorporated into his scheme a small lecture auditorium, a café and a storytelling area for children.

One of the striking elements of the Livraria da Vila’s design is the pivoting glass-fronted, steel framed doors lined with books that form the entrance to the bookshop during opening hours. Weinfeld’s inspiration for this design element is said to be les bouquinistes, the Parisian second-hand booksellers that line the banks of the river Seine selling books beneath their green wooden awning boxes.

This design drawing is an unrealised small scale interior scheme for the ground floor of the Livraria da Vila bookstore in Sao Paulo. In this drawing Weinfeld emphasises the notion of the bookstore as a community hub as well as a commercial space with a large recessed seating area in the centre, occupying the majority of the floor plan, busy with tables, chairs and visitors.

These drawings are particularly significant to the Collection as they mark the V&A’s first acquisition of a South American architect's work.

Physical description

Unrealised scheme for the interior of the Livraria da Vila bookstore in Sao Paulo, rendered in pencil on tracing paper. The drawing depicts floor to ceiling bookshelves on the right, a recessed central seating area with tables and loosely rendered human figures and a staircase in the backgorund leading up to street level.

Place of Origin

Sao Paulo (made)


2007 (made)


Weinfeld, Isay (architect)
Alvarenga, Marcelo

Materials and Techniques

Pencil on tracing paper


Height: 11 cm, Width: 17.5 cm

Descriptive line

Interior perspective view of the Livraria da Vila bookstore in Sao Paulo, by Isay Weinfeld, 2007

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Barreneche, Raul A., 2012. Isay Weinfeld: projetos comerciais. Translated from Portugese by O. Nunes and L.Folgueira. Sao Paulo, Bei Comunicação.


Pencil; Tracing paper


Architectural drawing; Drawing

Subjects depicted

Bookshop; Interior


Drawings; Designs; Architecture


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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