The Museum of Modern Art – Flagship Store, NYC
The new 5,200 square foot flagship store at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) with retail design by Lumsden Design opened on 21st October, 2019 adjacent to the lobby of the museum.
Callum Lumsden, Creative Director at Lumsden Design told PREMIER RETAIL: “The brief was quite open because MoMA has always been a shining example of an institution which recognises that the commercial side of museums is really important to the cultural sector. It welcomes the fact that the majority of visitors to museums will happily purchase something from a museum store. This in turn generates a significant income, which then gets invested in the museum to keep it alive. MoMA has always been a world leader in terms of its retail offer, so our challenge was to interrogate and understand its strategy, understand how people shop in museum stores such as this; what are they looking for, and what is the best way to design around that?”
Intended to attract passers-by and ticketed museumgoers alike with dual entrances, the new retail position is clearly visible from various points within the Museum and seamlessly integrates into the overall Museum experience. Visitors to MoMA can now expect a dramatically remodelled front elevation, featuring an off-street entrance leading to a mezzanine bridge overlooking the new Museum Store.
Accessing the space via a central staircase or circular glazed elevator, the first thing visitors will notice before descending into the store is a vast 30-foot tall floor-to-ceiling wall display that showcases an unparalleled selection of art-related publications selected by the retail merchandising team, along with counterparts from all six curatorial departments.
The foreground of the store is home to high quality design objects displayed on low-density fixtures, cast in solid aluminium for a distinctive and refined finish. Each of these products has been handpicked by the Museum’s retail team and approved by MoMA curators, reflecting the internationally renowned design vision of the institution. On the north side of the store, beneath the mezzanine level, are high density fixtures displaying a comprehensive selection of art-reproduction products such as prints, postcards, stationery and gifts, as well as unique desk accessories, personal products and apparel.
All display fixtures and accessories have been designed with simple and elegant forms to reflect MoMA’s pared-back aesthetic, using the established material and colour palette seen across all MoMA’s Design Stores. Consideration was made to focus the visitor’s attention on the carefully selected product assortment; the fixtures were designed with inbuilt flexibility allowing units to be joined together or reconfigured as needed.
“Lumsden has an innate understanding of our brand, the uniqueness of our product offering and retail’s role in the museum visitor experience,” said Ruth Shapiro, Director of Sales and Business Development. “We’ve worked together on the successful renovation of the MoMA Design Store across from the Museum in New York and multiple stores in Japan, so it made perfect sense to collaborate on our new flagship store.”
Callum added: “We worked closely with project architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Gensler on the retail environment, ensuring the space would match MoMA’s status as a world-leading cultural destination. The external references are subtle but once you step inside the store, each touchpoint is carefully crafted to create the ultimate cultural retail experience.”
“This is absolutely up there with the best projects that Lumsden has ever been involved in. It has been amazing and we are delighted and very proud of what we have managed to achieve with them. Feedback has been nothing but positive and overall it has been a real success.”
The project is the latest in Lumsden’s longstanding relationship with the MoMA brand which has seen the delivery of MoMA Design Stores in New York and Japan.