For our March bookshop of the month, we take a short walk from the Yale UP London offices across Bedford Square, to the fabulous Architectural Association Bookshop. Affiliated to the Architectural Association School of Architecture, this lovely Bloomsbury shop is energised by the school’s popular public programme of lectures and exhibitions. We had a chat with Andrew Whittaker from the AA Bookshop to find out more about what makes this bookshop such a special destination for architecture students and enthusiasts.
Yale University Press: The Architectural Association Bookshop is one of the leading specialist architecture bookshops in London and is located on the architecturally rich Bedford Square. Was this a strategic location choice or a happy accident?
Andrew Whittaker: I would say it was an intentional happy choice, we are located in Bloomsbury in this beautiful preserved Georgian Bedford Square. We are here because of the Architectural Association which moved here in 1917. Being so central in London is wonderful, in close proximity not only to the AA but also to many other architectural offices, schools and organisations including the Bartlett and RIBA. The AA Bookshop has been an important feature of the Association for many years and draws international visitors to the area. The associations interests are reflected in the collection, and continues to be resource for the art and architecture community of London.
YUP: Back in January you hosted an event with architect Rafael Moneo, Nick Ray and Francesco Gonzalez de Canales. What is it like to have living architects in the shop for a discussion and book signing? Are you able to hold events like this often?
AW: We have events like this weekly at the Bookshop, having the connection with the Architectural Association allows us to become a venue for the highly acclaimed public programme of exhibitions and lectures that happen within the Association. The AA also publishes works that we then stock in the shop. The shop is in constant conversation with the events happening at the Architectural Association, this is very unique, to visit a bookshop and have the opportunity to meet the author and have a discussion with them, or to read content that was generated here. The events are always lively, stop by 32 Bedford Square for a glass of wine and lively discussions.
YUP: What upcoming events can we look forward to?
AW: This coming month we have a book launch every week. Including works by David Jenkins, Jacque Ferrier, Nadir Lahiji, and the book Building upon Building. Please visit: aabookshop.net for updates on future events, special offers and to sign up for our mailing list.
YUP: And finally – what are the top three bestselling books in the AA Bookshop?
AW: The City as a Project by Pier Vittorio Aureli, Small Architecture / Natural Architecture by Kengo Kuma and Architecture Words 12: Stones against Diamonds by Lina Bo Bardi
Opening hours are:
Monday – Saturday 10.00am – 6.30pm