Commissioned by Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts this installation serves as a bookstore for art and architecture publications. The bookstore was launched in conjunction with the opening of “Environments and Counter Environments. Italy: The New Domestic Landscape,” MoMA, 1972, an exhibition featuring works and documents of the iconic Italian architects and designers from that period. Positioned within the context of the exhibition the installation offers references for the iconic forms, unexpected color and material exploration.
The bookstore is comprised of four large tables that divide the space of the front room within the Madlener House. Carefully positioned vertical forms extend from each table, such as a gateway arch, staircase, and towers, which function as bookshelves and partitions, generating intimate spaces and directing interactions.
The horizontal surfaces of the tables are raised, folded into a zig-zag or incorporate a grid of vertical rods allowing for a range of book display compositions and organization.
Expanded metal mesh is used throughout the installation, which contrasts with the bold forms, providing translucence and diffusion of light. The sheer effect of the material allows for books and objects to populate
the forms in which they become active variables in the installation, while maintaining a lightness
that allows the room to remain a visible and integral aspect of the work. The diamond pattern of the material alludes to the detail of the ornamental ceiling while its soft pale green color complements the warm tones of wood paneling. The forms, color, and sheerness of the installation generate a variety of visual layers which are altered by changing light and viewing angle.
This immersive environment is a comfortable and fully functioning bookstore, in which books are the foremost element of the design and the public’s interaction with selected publications is a primary consideration. Topped with the neon sign “HI”, the installation demands attention even from the street level.
Lead Design Ania Jaworska
Fabrication Taylor Wallace, Independent Neon & Signs
Photos Travis Roozee