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Boutique Book Shop

Boutique Book Shop

Sydness Architects
New York, NY, United States | View Map
Project Year
Jon Nissenbaum

Boutique Book Shop

Sydness Architects as Architects

Boutique Book Store
Christian Science Reading Room

New York, New York


This small book shop and reading room is in a storefront in the new Fulton Transit Center in Lower Manhattan. Situated within the historical landmark section of the center, the space required a sales area and separate quiet room and needed to fit within a 700-square foot area.


The quiet room is separated from the sales and display area by setting translucent panels in a facetted gentle curve that is 16 feet high and reaches to the ceiling. The panels are made from recycled resin and have tree branches laminated within which are visible from both sides. The result is a translucent wall that gives the small space an added dimension and separates the sales area from the quiet room. The space is accented with hanging “clouds” that help conceal mechanical pipes and fire sprinkler heads. Shelving for display and books in addition to the hanging “clouds” are all made from the recycled resin material.


Adaptable lighting was used throughout the store to optimize the display of books and highlight a changing sales inventory. An ADA restroom was also included within the space along with necessary storage areas.


What was the brief?

The brief for this book shop was to create within a 700 square foot space for sales and display as well as a quiet study space that could be closed off from the rest of the shop while appearing open and inviting. The requirement for a transaction counter and adequate display space for a dynamic rotation of sales material.


What were the key challenges?

The most significant challenge was providing adequate space for the operation within the small space we were given. the requirement for an ADA restroom, necessary storage space, and an attractive quiet room within this small space was a challenge.


What were the solutions?

We used translucent panels of recycled resin to build a screen wall that divided the space but did not close it down. The ability to see through the sixteen foot tall panels and take in the entire space while still having the ability to create a quiet area that was not disturbed by the activity in the sales area was a good solution. We used "clouds" throughout the space to tie both rooms together and bring the very tall ceiling down a bit and conceal the mechanical equipment and piping that existed.

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