|Remodeled Baker Book House wins design award as sales soar|
|Written by Jeremy Burns|
|Friday, 18 October 2013 12:56 PM EDT|
The recent renovation of Baker Book House in Grand Rapids, Mich. has resulted in tremendous growth. The store’s previous quarter sales jumped more than 50% over the same period last year, according to Sue Smith, store manager and CBA chairwoman.
The renovation, designed by Integrated Architecture, also received an Honorable Mention in the small commercial design category from the American Institute of Architects Grand Rapids Chapter 2013 Awards Program. The Honorable Mention was the only award distributed in the category.
“Baker Book House has, for the past 20 years, been hiding in plain sight,” said Scott Vyn, Integrated Architecture’s director of design. “The retail renovation/expansion began with flipping the offices and retail spaces, moving the store to the front of the building and the offices to the rear.”
He added: “2,318 square feet of new construction along the street allowed us to create the roofline, add floor-to-ceiling windows and a new entrance. The increased height and cast-stone construction communicates a long-lasting presence, a ‘we are here for the long run’ promise.”
The store’s fresh, open environment offers abundant natural light, thousands of books and reading accessories as well as a children’s play area, café and plenty of places to read and relax. Bold colors, fresh coffee and flexible gathering space supports book club meetings, book signings, lectures and special events such as princess parties for preschool girls.
“Feels like library meets bookstore,” read the comments from the award jury. “The retail aspect of the program is successfully toned down and not overdone. Smart and thoughtful use of materials inside and out. The clean simple elevation is nice.”