Pro qm

· Wednesday May 7, 2014

Since 1999, Mitte bookstore Pro qm has been a haven for serious Berlin booklovers. With light from Almstadstraße flooding the room through the front windows, entering Pro qm feels momentarily intimidating, more like walking into a chic gallery than a bookstore. The intimate space is criss-crossed with soft, clean lines; pink ladders, yellow roof beams and free-standing stairs rejoice in an expanse of negative space, embodying the store's keen eye for design in both its aesthetic and its stock.

Specialising in art, architecture, design, pop, theory and urban studies, Pro qm's towering, densely packed white shelves break down into 100+ niche areas such as typography, gender, sustainability and cartography. If navigating that many categories sounds overwhelming, ask for a handy printed floor-plan, available at the counter. Or better yet, let go and lose yourself in the room's many surprising goodies: an exquisite up-to-date selection of books line every surface (floors and walls) and racks of glossy international magazines climb like ivy, making it impossible to leave the store empty-handed. Stumble across anthologies on Mies van der Rohe, thought-provoking critical collections such as Cities for People, Not for Profit, journals like n+1 and new locals Berlin Quarterly – or drop by for one of the store's regular events as it celebrates 15 years of wooing Berliners in style.