The recently renovated Rahva Raamat location in Tallinn's Viru Center was awarded the 2022 Bookstore of the Year Award by the London Book Fair. The Rahva Raamat store had been nominated alongside La Mistral in Madrid and Norli Universitetsgata in Oslo.
"We are very happy that the transformation of the Viru Center bookstore, which lasted nearly a year and a half, was such a success that it was noted in the wider world as well," said Rahva Raamat board chairman Viljar Ots.
The chain's Viru Center store was commended for "demonstrating the importance of sustainability throughout its refurbishment, combining 'fusion environments' that respect their roots, nourish nostalgia, and also provide modern technical services," according to a London Book Fair press release detailing this year's winners of its International Excellence Awards.
"These all combine to create a wonderful, cultural oasis for its community and customers, regardless of their language, interests or age, served by knowledgeable staff who are inspired to offer a level of service that matches the stimulating environment," the fair noted.
"The updated store has been very well received by the people of Estonia, and our sales have increased by 30 percent on year," Ots said. "We are especially delighted by visitors who write on our social media accounts that they'd even spend the night at our store, the store is that cozy."
The interior of the newly renovated Viru bookstore was designed by UDDU Architects led by Mari Ots, with environmental design work provided by graphic design agency Velvet.
The International Excellence Award will be presented to Rahva Raamat's Viru store at the LBF gala in London on April 7.
Rahva Raamat bookstores have previously been shortlisted for the title of Bookstore of the Year as well, including the Viru Center store previously reaching the top four in 2016 and the Tallinn Old Town store being chosen among the top three in 2020.
Click here to read more about all the winners of the 2022 London Book Fair International Excellence Awards.
Editor: Aili Vahtla