Hammer Museum Bookstore

With an expanded footprint and completely new design, the Hammer Bookstore is situated against two banks of windows within the historic high-rise façade designed by Claud Beelman, bringing natural light into the formerly windowless space.

The welcoming new store feels more like a library or living room, where visitors are encouraged to linger, grab a book and make themselves at home. The Archers team, alternated flexible merchandise bays with upholstered window seats and study carrels with pull-up chairs. Working closely with the museum director and bookstore staff, we designed a custom table system, with interchangeable, modular units that provide endless permutations for merchandise display. There is also a designated children’s area with tables of varied heights to engage youth of all ages and sizes, and a highly-flexible Pop-Up space that serves as a white-box gallery within the store, with adaptable lighting and display systems for a roster of rotating curators and special exhibitions.

European Beech is used throughout, in combination with glossy white Abet laminate, goldenrod-colored Maharam mohair velvet and dark green Forbo furniture linoleum. Iconic lighting by Vico Magistretti and Josef Frank, along with the 606 Universal Shelving System by Dieter Rams for Vitsoe, round out the design. White perforated metal wraps the sales counter and jewelry display, echoing Michael Maltzan's John V. Tunney Bridge outside the store entrance.

In addition to its wide selection of books, housewares, artist projects, and Hammer items, the museum store will once again host pop-ups featuring a variety of collaborators beginning with People’s Pottery Project, an artist-driven initiative to empower formerly incarcerated women, trans and non-binary individuals, and their communities.

Photography: Eric Petschek