BEST Indeterminate Façade

BEST Indeterminate Façade, 1975

SITE's Founder and President, James Wines, is the winner of twenty-five art and architecture awards—including the 2013 National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement, 2011 ANCE International Architect Award (Italy) and 1995 Chrysler Award for Design Innovation. His projects for SITE have been the subject of twenty-one monographic books and honored by five retrospective exhibitions in the USA, Europe and Japan. His drawings are in the collections of thirty-five museums, including the Museum of Modern Art NY, Victoria & Albert Museum London and Centre Pompidou Paris. James is the author of seven books and a Professor of Architecture at Penn State University. (Text from the SITE website)

The BEST stores were some of Wine's most well-known architectural projects, and Indeterminate Fa;çade was the first. Wines was commissioned by store owners Sydney and Frances Lewis to give their boxy stores a fresh, artistic look, and he showed he was more than up for this unusual challenge. Wines rejected the formalism of the post-modern age, preferring instead to create retail architecture offering an ironic commentary on the increasing commercial interests of American culture. Sadly, not a single one of the BEST stores are extant.

While Iowa is not home to any of James Wines wonderful buildings, his delightful keynote speech at the University of Iowa Museum of Art's symposium, "What's Your Sign," on September 8th, certainly makes him an honorary Iowan!

Photograph credit: BEST Products Indeterminate Façade building (1974). Image © SITE

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This page was first displayed
on September 14, 2017

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