Blending Art & Architecture in a Dynamic Environment: the concept conceived by Charles Sparks + Company for the de Young
After the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, the original museum building was declared unsafe. As the new facilities were being planned, Charles Sparks + Company was asked to help the museum maximize new opportunities for effective retail activity.
The new museum was to be centered on the overall idea of integrating art and architecture with the natural landscape of San Francisco’s beloved Golden Gate Park.
The concept included a division of merchandise categories, so that the ground floor would receive the majority of visitors entering, in the midst of their overall experience. This level of the store includes a vast array of distinctive merchandise inspired by the art museum’s educational mission and its worldwide permanent collections: decorative objects, jewelry, educational children’s books and toys, stationery, posters, home and office accessories, textiles, and more.
All the design elements – finishes, materials, lighting, and fixtures – imaginatively showcase this diverse range of products, allowing for versatility and change.
Darkly stained vertical dividers and tables evoke the surrounding trees of the Golden Gate Park. Moreover, the store location and layout flow easily from the main court, connecting the two levels with an internal staircase. Then the lower level became the primary location for destination merchandise, featuring a wide range of art books, museum publications, and specialty items.
Courtesy by Charles Sparks + Company