November 12, 2009

The BEST Showrooms From The 1970's

The TARGET chain of department stores is always getting credit for being stylish and sharp in terms of design for it's vivid ads and corporate styling. However, the exterior of most TARGETS have a tendencey to look the same...big red-brick boxes.

Way back in the wacky 70's, there was a chain of catalog stores called BEST that prospered in the mid-Atlantic region and was known for its unusual storefronts. The founder of the company, Sydney Lewis, had an avid interest in art and architecture and hired the revolutionary SITE firm for one of BEST's first showrooms, pictured here.. Called the "Indeterminate Facade", the company's Houston location made a crumbling, post-apocalyptic statement that TARGET would never dare.

This is BEST's most famous facade but there were others, which you can check out here on the SITE website. They company had a decade-long collaboration with the firm which turned out some really stunning work. Unfortunately, BEST went bankrupt in the mid-80's and their visually shocking showrooms are only a memory today. The one in Houston was intact for more than 10 years after BEST folded. But recently a new tenant sliced off the "indeterminate" top of the facade and now it's just another big white box on a Houston highway.

1 comment:

  1. Fitting, as Houston itself is a "crumbling, post-apocalyptic statement."