High-end bookseller Rizzoli is bucking the trend of folding bookstores with a new flagship outlet in New York City’s NoMad District. The 5,000-square-foot space reasserts the old world grandeur of the store’s previous 57th Street location, which shuttered in 2014 to make way for a “seven-star” hotel after futile appeals for landmark status.
The new Rizzoli by Ike Kligerman Barkley Architects reincarnates the classic architectural experience: vaulted ceilings, cherry wood bookcases with elaborate trim, and grand iron and brass chandeliers. Dream-like scenes of Italian cities in a floating cloudscape dapple the walls, as do hot-air balloons, Zodiac figures, and a collage of newspaper fragments overlaid with colorful butterflies by Italian decor company Fornasetti.
Meanwhile, high-gloss black columns march across the black-and-white marble floors to draw the eye inward. “The interior space had good bones, with three distinct areas to allow for a narrative journey through the store, marked by massive columns of noble demeanor, a fine-grained skylight ceiling in the center room, and a west-facing wall with windows overlooking a nineteenth century church in the salon,” said project director Cynthia Conigliaro.