Posts tagged with "bookstores":

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LAMAS crafts a simple, multipurpose aesthetic for a compact Brooklyn bookstore

“Whimsical Shaker,” is how WH Vivian Lee, principal and cofounder of LAMAS described the design of Stories Bookshop + Storytelling Lab, a children’s bookstore in Park Slope, Brooklyn. The 650-square-foot space is maximized with this simple, multipurpose aesthetic, from the bookshelves along a classic Shaker chair rail (the chairs can be hung up as well when not in use) to the drop leaf tables and chairs that the firm designed. “The display furniture takes on a playful quality because the half-arc is not only a motif, it also takes advantage of MDF [medium density fiberboard]—the drop leaf ‘petal tables’ were cut out of the half-arc display tables,” explained Lee. To brighten the formerly dark space, Lee and her partner James Macgillivray employed a dual-sided painting concept where one side of the furniture is white and the other side is brightly colored. “We wanted to accentuate the shading of the real world literally onto the building,” Macgillivray said. In the back of the bookshop, a small classroom is used for after-school creative writing, drawing, and storytelling programs.

> Stories Bookshop + Storytelling Lab 458 Bergen Street, Brooklyn, NY Tel: 718-369-1167 Architect: Lee and Macgillivray Architecture Studio (LAMAS)

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A return to brick and mortar, Amazon.com opens first bookstore in Seattle

November 3 was a big day for Amazon, with the opening of its first brick and mortar store, Amazon Books. The location? Seattle, of course. The 5,500-square-foot store inside the upscale University Village shopping mall replaced the former Blue C Sushi restaurant. Who designed the store? Amazon relied on its in-house design team in collaboration with external partners, Amazon.com spokesperson Deborah Bass told AN. Materials and layout are pretty traditional: there's light wood, dark trim, brick, and narrow aisles. Many have made comparisons to the typical bookstore aesthetic of yore. "The store, in Seattle’s University Village, is notably (and, of course, ironically) Barnes & Noble-like in its aesthetic. There’s a lot of wood. There are a lot of shelves. There are a lot of books! The dream of the 90s is alive in Seattle, apparently," writes The Atlantic. But forget the typical spine-out book layout. Instead, books are arranged cover-out, many alongside unedited (but oftentimes truncated) customer reviews from Amazon.com. There's an overt fusion of books and tech. Titles are stocked, influenced, and arranged by Amazon.com data and curators: customer ratings, top sellers lists, niche audience ("Most-Wished-For Cookbooks", "Gifts for Young Adults", "Coloring Books for Grown-ups"), purpose ("100 Books to Read in a Lifetime") and of course, by genre. There are Amazon devices throughout: Kindles, Fire Tablets, Fire TVs, Echo. Prices are the same as online. But there's a catch: Amazon prices are not listed on the books themselves. Browsers must either download an Amazon app to scan the books for current prices or use one of the price-checking kiosks in the store. Amazon Books is the second bookstore to open in U-Village, after Barnes and Noble closed in 2011.
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Archtober Building of the Day 23> St. Mark’s Bookshop by Clouds Architecture Office

St. Mark’s Bookshop 136 East 3rd Street, Manhattan Clouds Architecture Office Clouds Architecture Office is two wonderful architects of international origin and distinction: Ostap Rudakevych and Masayuki Sono. It’s easy to see why the intense and inward duo selected such a multi-valent word to identify their firm. Curiously enough though, their project for the St. Mark’s Bookshop did not in any way darken the nature of retail bookselling—quite substantially just the opposite. The bookstore won an honor award from the AIA New York Chapter Design awards program in 2015. Archtober-ites witnesses another great example of the resourcefulness of architects dealing with constrained money, space, plumbing, and time. The sinuous wrapping of the entire interior with multi-level shelving built on site was designed and completed in two months. Your best idea is frequently your first idea, and Clouds Architecture deftly wended the sectional idea of shelves canted for maximal visibility into a three-dimensional expression of the continuity of thinking that sets the books next to each other. Slots are cut through the wrapping shelf element to reveal glimpses of worlds beyond: a back yard, the street. And an office is tucked behind the projected diagonal element that creates two separate spaces, but encourages flow between them. St. Mark’s Bookshop has been in a number of locations since it was actually located on St. Mark’s Place. In the late seventies, it was the intellectual hub of the punk scene in alphabet city, a scene which is now being brought back to life in a number of books, many of which you can buy at the St. Mark’s Bookshop in its latest digs. It was great to meet Bob Contant, the long-time owner. (I don’t think he remembered me from the seventies when clad in an original Ramones t-shirt—my future husband and I  would browse his shelves for texts in the critical thinking that underpinned all that great music.) Contant started working as a librarian, and the selections reveal his determined thinking about what’s important. The continuity of the snaking wall establishes a visual loop, that reminded me of one of my favorite lines from T. S. Elliot: “We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” It was nice to be back in a new St. Mark’s Bookshop after 38 years! I took Bob’s recommendation and bought I Dreamed I was a Very Clean Tramp the autobiography of Richard Hell, who we saw at CBGB’s with the Voidoids, and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Go see this beautiful store, and buy books! Next stop: Mariners Harbor Branch Library on Staten Island. Cynthia Phifer Kracauer is the Managing Director of the Center for Architecture and the festival director for Archtober: Architecture and Design Month NYC. She was previously a partner at Butler Rogers Baskett, and from 1989-2005 at Swanke Hayden Connell. After graduating from Princeton (AB 1975, M.Arch 1979) she worked for Philip Johnson, held faculty appointments at the University of Virginia, NJIT, and her alma mater. 
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Don’t miss the Designers & Books Fair in New York City this October

designerbookfair It's one of the great joys of being an architect or designer in New York: the city has unique events that one finds in few other cities. The Designers & Books Fair—scheduled for October 2–4 at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)—is one of those events. It is the only book fair in the world focused on all aspects of design: architecture, experience design, fashion, graphic design, interior design, landscape architecture, product and industrial design, and urban design. This year’s Fair will include more than 70 U.S. and European design book publishers and booksellers displaying and selling the newest titles for the fall, as well as important backlist titles. There will also be notable rare and out-of-print book dealers and established and indie magazines. A new feature of this year’s Fair is “Experiences with Authors,” a creative, alternative approach to book signings. A group of renowned authors have agreed that purchasers of their books at the Fair will be entered into drawings. The winners will have the opportunity to meet the authors and have special experiences designed by the authors. This includes includes a tour of Daniel Libeskind’s studio and a special behind-the-scenes tour of the Eames Collection at MoMA, with the grandson of the Eames’. The fair will take place in the John E. Reeves Great Hall at FIT on 27th street and 7th avenue.
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Hennessey +Ingalls to move from Santa Monica to Michael Maltzan’s One Santa Fe in 2016

Hennessey + Ingalls is a rarity in an age when bookstores that survived the rise of Amazon are often indistinctive superstores or exercises in hipster curation. Los Angeles’ long-established mecca for art and architecture is neither. Fans were nervous when the store shuttered its Hollywood annex in Space Fifteen Twenty last spring. While the Santa Monica store on Wilshire and 2nd will close at the end of the year, it will reopen in a new space at One Santa Fe, the mixed-use development complex designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture. When Reginald Hennessey first set up the store in 1963, it catered to an up and coming community of artists, architects, and art enthusiasts. The tradition of stocking its wooden shelves with rare, sometimes out-of-print books has continued to enthrall readers from around Los Angeles and has even managed to attract the attention of design institutions from all over America. The family owned store was passed down from Reginald to his son and finally grandson, Brett, who now runs the business. He was responsible for computerizing the operations and increasing the store’s online presence. Initially based out of Santa Monica with a branch in Hollywood, the business had to close down the latter due to an increase in rent and a smaller customer base. The store, currently 8,000 square feet, is downsizing to a smaller, but better-located 5,000-square-foot location in the Arts District. “We were focusing on Downtown L.A. and crossed paths with Michael Maltzan. It just turned into a really good partnership because One Santa Fe is right up our alley. The curation of businesses there are kind of what we like most about it,” said Brett Hennessey. The bookstore anticipates a bigger customer base at its new location, located right across the street from SCI-Arc, a few minutes away from FIDM, and even close by to the University of Southern California. “People can drive in from 360 degrees around us. The problem with Santa Monica is that only half the side can drive to the store” quipped Hennessey. Hennessey + Ingalls will celebrate the last holiday season out of Santa Monica and will open its doors again in February 2016. This time in DTLA.
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Berkeley designers propose building this pavilion entirely out of books, and you can help kickstart the project

Leaders of the Bay Area Book Festival (taking place June 5–7 in Berkeley) are teaming up with arts group Flux Foundation to make Lacuna, a wood-framed, yurt-like structure containing over 50,000 books, all donated by the Internet Archive. The "participatory" installation, designed with built in benches and alcoves, will have walls literally made out of stacks of books. Ceilings will be made of book pages attached to guy wires. lt will sit in Berkeley's Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Center Park, creating what organizers call "a reflective space that offers contrast to—and respite from—the busy energy of the festival." In a digital world, this reminder of books' physicality, and the opportunity to read them and reshape the space, should be a major draw—especially as many bookstores still struggle to stay open. The project is still seeking funding. You can contribute to its Kickstarter campaign here.
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Another architectural bookstore bites the dust: Hennessey+Ingalls closes Hollywood location

Art and architecture book nirvana Hennessy + Ingalls closed its Hollywood location on Sunday after just six years in business. The store had been situated in a bow truss structure inside Space 15 Twenty on Cahuenga Boulevard, just north of Sunset. "It's been a struggle from the get-go," said store owner Mark Hennessey, who bought the location a few months before the economy collapsed and finally "decided to pull the plug" after Space 15 Twenty substantially raised the rent. "People are still buying books but they're not buying them in bookstores," he added. "We need a new generation of architecture and design lovers. Right now they're not coming in as often." Hennessy + Ingalls will maintain its Santa Monica location, which Hennessey said is the largest of its kind in the country, but he acknowledged that he's been looking for smaller, more affordable space in Los Angeles's Arts District.
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“Carousel of Light” Bookstore in Bucharest Occupies Breathtaking 19th-Century Bank Building

Forget, albeit momentarily, the speculated death of the print product. Romanian bookstore chain Carturesti has poured millions of dollars into the restoration of a 19th-century former bank building to house its second-largest retail outlet. Featuring a breathtaking high ceiling with a central skylight and dramatic byzantine marble colonnades, the Carturesti Carusel, which literally translates as “Carousel of Light” retails over 10,000 volumes and 5,000 albums and DVDs. Located on the famous Lipscani street in Bucharest’s Old Town, the old-world, nearly all-white edifice comprises 1,760 square feet of retail space and six floors accessible by curving staircases reminiscent of carousels. The main floor and basement contain an art gallery and media space for cultural events, while the top floor is occupied by a bistro. The serially repurposed building closed down in 1948 back when it was the Chrissoveloni Bank. It was then converted into a men’s clothing store and subsequently a department store, before being seized during the Romania’s Communist period. By 1990, the building was back in the hands of the illustrious banking family when it was recovered by its current owner Jean Chrissoveloni, who commissioned local architect Square One to execute its restoration. “We minimized the chromatic elements in order to make room for the play of lights and shadows generated by the central skylight,” a Square One architect told Curbed. “The sinuous shape of the floors creates a dynamic atmosphere similar to a moving carousel.”
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Manhattan’s Rizzoli Bookstore to Reopen in the Flatiron District

New York’s iconic Rizzoli Bookstore has found a new home. After its former location on 57th Street was demolished to make way for the thoroughfare’s latest super-tall luxury building, it seemed that it was end days for the beloved institution. At the time, Rizzoli’s owners said the store would open up shop elsewhere in the city, but given the current state of affairs for old-school bookstores, that seemed highly unlikely. Now, just a few months later, it appears that Rizzoli executives have actually delivered on their promise. Representatives from the Italian company recently told the Wall Street Journal that they have signed a lease for a ground floor space in a Beaux-Arts building in the Flatiron District. The 5,000-square-foot space, roughly the same size as Rizzoli’s previous location, offers 18-foot ceilings and is set to welcome readers this spring. Rizzoli executives reportedly scoped out 150 locations in the city before settling on the space at 1133 Broadway. Rizzoli’s first shop opened in New York City in 1964, but the bookseller had been operating out of its 57th Street location since 1985. When news broke that the space was threatened by future development, preservationists launched a campaign to get landmark status for the 109-year-old building that housed the store. That effort was ultimately unsuccessful and construction crews got to work dismantling the structure, and its ornate, vaulted ceilings, this summer.
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Rizzoli Bookstore to Likely Lose Their Manhattan Home

New York City will soon lose another one of its bookstores—at least temporarily. The Landmarks Preservation Commission has denied landmark status for 31 West 57th Street, the century old building that houses the truly iconic Rizolli Bookstore. This clears the way for the building’s owners to demolish the current structure and put up what is expected to be a commercial or residential tower— this is 57th Street, after all. The owners of the building are reportedly trying to find a new home for Rizolli.  
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Quick Clicks> Zombie Train, Chicago Scales, Tracking LA, Church Sales, and Booking Philly

Calm like Rahm. Halloween might be over, but we couldn't resist sharing this Facebook photo of Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel riding public transit with zombies! The photo was posted with the following caption: "In case of a zombie apocalypse, remember to stay calm like Rahm." (h/t Transportation Nation) S, M, L, XL, XXL. The AIA-Chicago has released their latest round of awards and the Chicago Tribune's Blair Kamin takes a look at the winners, lauding the range of project scales undertaken by Chicago architects, from a small pavilion to the world's tallest building. Tracking LA. While Chicago has zombies, LA County has some cold hard cash. Everything Long Beach reports that eight key transportation projects were awarded $448 million including a 6.7 light rail line that is expected to become one of the busiest lines in the U.S. Sacred sale. Bankrupt mega-church Crystal Cathedral has found a buyer for their expansive, starchitect-studded Southern California campus (think Philip Johnson, Neutra, and Meier). The LA Times says Chapman University will pay $50 mil for the site, allowing the slimmed-down church to stay and eventually buy back their core building. Philly reads. In this economy, small book stores—especially architecture book stores—are struggling to keep their doors open. Philly is bucking this trend as the AIA Philadelphia opens up a new shop working with the Charter High School for Architecture and Design in Washington Square.