The Van Alen Institute is an independent non-profit architectural organization that promotes inquiry into the processes that shape the design of the public realm. Its New York City pop-up architecture and design bookstore is intended to serve as a reading room and a space for public discourse. A surge in the popularity of online book retailers along with the ease and accessibility of digital formats have claimed their casualties amongst traditional bookstores. The Van Alen bookstore defies this trend, defending the legacy and importance of hard copy.
From the Van Alen site:
Beyond its role as a destination bookstore, this dynamic space offers a place where books will be read and debated through a curatorial program exploring the past and future of architectural publishing. Curated with Cristina Goberna of design practice Fake Industries, events will include multidisciplinary performances, debates, discussions, and storytelling sessions with an international cast of architects, critics, scholars, and others. As a laboratory for new publishing models, Van Alen Books will also host a publishing summit in Fall 2011 exploring what form content will take in the twenty-first century.
The store opened April 25 at 30 West 22nd Street in Manhattan’s Flatiron District.