The Ironic Loss Of The Postmodern BEST Store Facades

In the mid 1970s, the Lewis Family (the owners and operators of catalogue company BEST Products) hired Sculpture In The Environment (SITE) to create a series of facades for nine showrooms across the US. Regardless of the project’s relative financial benefits, the clients gave SITE the one thing all designers crave and fear: full creative reign.

Thus begat the BEST Products Showrooms, an incredible series of architectural commentaries on consumerism that were so in tune with material culture they can easily be simplified as the apex of American Postmodernism. Intrinsically, opinions on whether or not the stores were even “good” range wildly depending on the audience and the speaker, even now, 40 years on.

The BEST stores survived on a combination of this localised charm and a drastically reduced kind of automation for a few more years. By 1983, they had implemented automated conveyor systems and point-to-order technologies to eliminate the cost of human labor. Regardless, the end was near. BEST had withstood thirty years of highs and lows, but what it could not withstand were the unwieldy behemoths of EBay and Amazon.

More: SITE h/t: failedarchitecture

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave Your Comment Below

More Inspiring Stories

This Is Europe's Most Expensive Home
Paper Models Of The Most Controversial Buildings Erected Behind The Iron Curtain
Unusually Beautiful Architectural Collages by Matthias Jung
New Glass Flooring Across Tower Bridge's High-Level
A Giant Ancient Egyptian Statues Unearthed
Extraordinary Design Shelter That Looks Like A 'Flintstones House', And No One Wants To Buy It
This “Story Pod” Is A Free-For-All Lending Library Designed For A Public Park
"Straight Out Of Inception": Enthralling Optical Illusion Bookstore Will Draw You Into A World Of Fantasy
Amazing Vintage Photographs That Show The Dangers Of Constructing The Empire State Building
Grave Interruption: Building Around a Tomb in China
SushiTa Restaurant Interior
Inside The Taiwan's Upside Down House
See the Ancient City of Pergamon in 360 degrees
Transparent Bridge in China
LEGO Colosseum by Ryan McNaught
Origami Cave Puts a Stylish Spin on Emergency Shelter
This Sculptural Shelter Is A Place To Enjoy Quiet And Restful Contemplation
Replica of Paris in China Becomes Ghost Town
This Tiny House Has A Strange Roof But The Reason Is Genius!
An Illusory Swimming Pool By Leandro Erlich
These Tiny Bubble Domes Let You Sleep Under The Stars
Shopping Mall Interior by Agence Search
World’s Most Secure House: A Zombie Bunker
Damaged by Lightning, Christ the Redeemer to Undergo Repairs
People In Montreal Are Playing On Light-Filled Seesaws This Winter
Summer Super Villa By Lassa Architects In Greek
Japan's Earthquake-Tesistant Dome Houses
"Under": Europe's First Underwater Restaurant To Open In Norway
Walkie Talkie Building in London Creates 'Death Ray' with Reflected Sunlight