NYC-based office LOT-EK were making "grittiness" cool long before Urban Outfitters. Authenticity -- and the re-appropriation of long-lost relics of industrial New York City -- are synonymous with LOT-EK's brand.
So, it makes sense that they would be entrusted with the task of developing the Van Alen Institute's new architectural bookstore, as A/N Blog reports, which hopes to revive the days of NYC architectural publishing yore, when every bodega sold copies of "Towards a New Architecture" and muggers asked you for your copy of S,M,L,XL, not your iPhone. Thank you, I'm here all week!
Ok, ok. The point is, Van Alen will open an architectural bookstore on the ground level of their West Side headquarters. Speaking to A/N Blog, Director Olympia Kazi said, “We are not reinventing the wheel, we are addressing a need. We have received so much love, so much excitement, about books.” According to van Alen, the architectural bookstore (declared dead by almost all) is still a relevant typology, and a necessary one. In fact, the space will be less about "books," and more about "conversation," which LOT-EK addressed architecturally through the stadium seating their design centers on.
LOT-EK is proposing to take old doors and turn them into layered seating/stairs in the tall (but skinny) space. The doors will be treated in typical LOT-EK fashion, with one side finished to reflect a design continuity with the rest of the space, while the other side will be left rough and un-treated. Says LOT-EK:
"The doors, which are all different, will be painted the same color on top, but left rough-cut on the sides. Tops will match the walls and the ceiling, while the undersides will match the floor. Large graphics on the floor and ceiling will be clearly visible through the plate-glass windows. The seating will serve both casual browsers as well as the audience for events."
The space will open in mid-April.
Via A/N Blog.