First Look: Adytum's semi-permanent library on Lonsdale Street | HerCanberra

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First Look: Adytum’s semi-permanent library on Lonsdale Street

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It’s here—Braddon’s new temple to wellness and wellbeing. But it might not look like you think.

Think self-care in 2020 and you might picture face masks, Tiger King and rainbow sweat sets.

But to truly tap into our inner wellbeing requires a little more…philosophy. This is the approach of Renee Douros, founder of Braddon’s newest resident, Adytum, which opens today.

As we announced last month, Adytum is a game-changer for Canberra’s wellbeing scene, with a range of self-care focused body and home products and a Lonsdale Street spa on the way.

But first, Adytum is getting back to basics with a semi-permanent “library experience” dedicated to how words and art are there for us in difficult times.

Drawing on the concept of ‘third-place’ philosophy—which suggests that we have spaces for work, family and a third space for ourselves—the library offers an indulgent reading experience—at a fraction of the cost of purchasing its extensive selection.

“A true embodiment of the third place, the Adytum pop-up library is a serene public space within which wellness is cultivated via intellectual nourishment,” says Renee.

“It is my opinion that reading and the process of expanding the mind assists in broadening the imagination and enhancing the wellbeing of the individual; intentionally turning yourself toward an inner world that is not crowded with the modern technologies that assault our consciousness and instead, offering your free time to enriching and nourishing your intellectual curiosity.”

Stocking everything from candy-coloured coffee table books about haute couture to modern philosophical titles, all books will be available to borrow via a custom-built system, with library members able to borrow up to four books at a time for 14 days. Memberships to the Adytum Library are $10 per month.

Designed by Sydney studio Pattern, the space is minimal yet welcoming, echoing the feel of Grecian cave architecture—a cool, quiet space away from it all. Photographs from Traianos Pakioufakis and works from ceramicist Alana Wilson create mini-exhibitions to browse.

In the centre of the room, an island features books for borrowing on one side, and Adytum’s curated selection of products on the other, interspersed with arrangements by Laurel + Lace.

Even the act of visiting Adytum’s space has been conceived as an experience, explains Renee.

“Small and innocuous details such as temperature, lighting, music, smell, tactility and materiality have all been very carefully considered and visitors will leave feeling physically and mentally relaxed, enriched and restored.”

Naturally, Adytum will adhere to COVID-safe measures, with a maximum of 25 people allowed in the space at one time and all touch-points sanitised regularly, including books.




What: Adytum semi-permanent library and retail space
Where: G13/27 Lonsdale Street, Braddon
When: Monday: Closed, Tuesday: 10 am-4 pm, Wednesday: 10 am-4 pm, Friday: 10 am-7 pm, Saturday: 10 am-7 pm, Sunday: 10a m-4 pm until 20 December
Cost: Free entry. Memberships to the Adytum Library are $10 per month

Photography: Traianos Pakioufakis

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