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Powell's City of Books at Lucky Strike
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Powell's City of Books at Lucky Strike

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The Power Plant at Lucky Strike is one of the oldest building in Richmond's historic Tobacco Row. Tobacco Row is an area of downtown Richmond, VA where tobacco warehouses and cigarette factories ...

The Power Plant at Lucky Strike is one of the oldest building in Richmond's historic Tobacco Row. Tobacco Row is an area of downtown Richmond, VA where tobacco warehouses and cigarette factories thrived in the early 1800s. The area was abandoned by the tobacco companies by the late 1980s. In 1995 the Richmond Flood Wall was completed, and many of the old warehouses of Tobacco Row were modernized. The Power Plant at Lucky Strike is at the end of Tobacco Row and supplied power to all of the other buildings along the River. Historic renovations of the Lucky Strike has been ongoing for years by various firm’s in Richmond. The space is currently under construction by Odell Architects. The Lucky Strike is a large building at 18,000 square feet with two tenant spaces, and 45 parking spaces. I chose this building because of its location to Shockoe Bottom, the James River, and re-developing neighborhoods of Church Hill. It has inherent beauty with two story glass windows and several skylights, which will make a perfect space for my project.

For my Senior Thesis proposal I chose to create a used bookstore. I started the project by doing extensive research on the used bookstore market. The information lead me to conclude that the South Atlantic area is the best place right now for a used bookstore, however smaller stores are not succeeding. This lead me to my second conclusion, which is that large bookstores with strong internet sales are doing the best in the market. I decided then to ''partner'' with an existing successful used bookstore chain in Portland, OR known as Powell's Books. I proposed that the company wanted to expand to the east coast and thus save on shipping expenses for the east coast sales. Powell's Books also wants to establish a design style in their new store that is different than the Portland stores, which is where my job would start.

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Powell's City of Books at Lucky Strike Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Senior Studio Audra Powell 2009 Bound Mixed Media Work 8 x 10 inches
  • 2. 1 Precedents Powell’s City of Books Programing Design Thesis Proposal There are few new businesses that can get me as excited as a used bookstore opening. The treasure hunt feeling I get when I’m browsing through the isles of endless books is like no other. Its something that doesn’t happen in larger stores such as Barnes and Noble. The chain stores that sell overpriced new books have a rushed feeling and are overcrowded. A good used bookstore on the other hand is inviting and like walking into a mystery; you never know what you might find. My goal for my senior thesis project is to design a store that not only has a wide selection of books, but is also well designed. The design will be influential to the business staying on top. Also, I would love for the store to be used for community activities such as book readings, school outings, or a community meeting center. My used bookstore will not merely be a store, but also enrich the community. Shockoe Bottom To bac co Ro w Church Hill Neighborhoods The Power Plant at Lucky Strike is located Ja m es at the end of historic Ri ve r Tobacco Row. The building was originally used to power these warehouses in the 1800s, however, it has only recently been renovated to house a new business, Odell Architects.
  • 3. 1 Precedents Powell’s City of Books Programing Design Thesis Proposal
  • 4. Thesis Proposal 2 Powell’s City of Books Programing Design Precedents Boutique Del Libro is a popular chain bookstore in Buenos Aries, but this particular one is unique. The store is small, quiet, and has an unobtrusive design, much like a typical used bookstore in America. There are special areas for individual study, and also for group study. The group study areas have tables, chairs, and a large white board. The Boutique was not merely thrown together like any other used bookstore. It has a deliberate design scheme. All of the furniture pieces are antiques, a mix and match of found items which could be considered a “sustainable” quality. The reason I was drawn to this bookstore design is because it is an organized mess. The books are what stands out because they are everywhere. They take a back seat to no other design element, and I like that idea.
  • 5. Thesis Proposal 2 Powell’s City of Books Programing Design Precedents Livraria De Vila is a successful chain bookstore in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This particular one was created by famous Brazilian architect, Isay Weinfeld. Livraria De Vila boasts a packed calendar of event from books signnings, writing classes, wine tastings, and musical performances. Weinfeld, however, wanted everyone to know, just by looking at the facade, that the store’s goal is literacy. The entrance is composed of 5 large bookcases which pivot open during the day, and close up at night. The interior design is no less grand. Along every wall, all one can see are books. The existing 2 story building has a footprint of 33 ft. wide and 131 ft. long. This created some design challenges for placement of furniture. He chose to open up the plan and let it flow from floor to floor. Weinfeld chose to create “visual continuity” with an oval cut out into the basement, which is lined with books. Like Boutique Del Libro, the thing I most enjoy about this design is that books are highlighted as the most important decoration.
  • 6. Thesis Proposal 2 Powell’s City of Books Programing Design Precedents El Ateno is South America’s Barnes and Noble, except they are all different in design. The most notable El Ateno is the one located at The Grand Splendid, an old theater. Like Barnes and Noble, El Ateno is known for selling new books and CDs. While this store doesn’t sell used books, it caught my interest because it is making adaptive use of a prominent structure in the city, which is comparable to my own thesis proposal. The architects, Pero and Torres Armengol designed The Grand Splendid for wealthy immigrant, Max Gluxsman. It was used as a theater for a number of years. In 1924, he opened a radio station on the fourth floor. Later in 1929, the theater became Argentina’s first cinema with sound. In 2000, its latest phase, El Ateno moved in. Architect Fernando Manzone wanted to keep the historical integrity of the building, but many changes had to be made. Bookshelves were installed along walls and where the seats had once been. Stairs to the basement were also replaced by an Although many changes have been made, it is impossible to erase the feeling escalator that this store was once a grand theater, which is why I like it so much.
  • 7. Thesis Proposal Precedents 3 Programing Design Powell’s City of Books Through my research, I have decided to make Powell’s City of Books my client. This client is already a well established business model for online stores. In my research I found that used bookstores almost have to have online establishments to turn any kind of sustainable profit. Right now the Pacific Coast is not a good place to open a used bookstore, but the South Atlantic (Virginia included) is a great place to start one. If Powell’s City of Books was to expand to the East Coast they would not only increase profits, but also have another warehouse for their online sales, thus saving in transportation. Having warehouses on both coasts for internet sales can also be considered an ecofriendly aspect, as sold books wouldn’t have to travel as far. They are the world’s largest used book store, but they currently only have one location; Portland, Oregon. This store is well established and has a lot of business. For my project, however, I am pretending that this business wants to expand to a smaller stores on the East Coast. They want to keep their philosophy of providing outlets for community activities, having an in store art gallery, and housing rare, hard to find books. There size and in-store, as well as internet selection, is what has kept them in business for so long. Because they only have one location and are trying to branch out, this leaves room for freedom to design without established franchise standards. I plan to create a store that provides more than just books, but rather a community outlet for people of all ages.
  • 8. Thesis Proposal Precedents Powell’s City of Books 4 Design Programing 5% World Cup Coffee and Tea Seating 37.5% Fiction Food Prep/ Counter Storage General Sci-fi 10% Community Spaces Mystery Horror Seats Space Allocation Romance Desks Classics Mic Systems Humor 75 % Books Graphic Novels Rarities 10% Reading Areas 37.5% Non- Fiction Seats Arts Sciences Maths Religions Computers Sofas Computers Health/ Lifestyles How-Tos History Textbooks Quiet
  • 9. Thesis Proposal Precedents Powell’s City of Books 4 Design Programing Adjacency Matrix Fiction Non-Fiction Community Area X Separate Reading Area Immediate (inside) World Cup Unimportant Convenient Page 42
  • 10. Thesis Proposal Precedents Powell’s City of Books 4 Design Programing Final Bubble Diagram Backrooms World Cup Storage Community Areas Bathroom Fiction Reading Areas Key Non-fiction Immediate/ Inside Separate Convenient/ Close Not Important
  • 11. Thesis Proposal Precedents Powell’s City of Books Programing 5 Design
  • 12. Thesis Proposal Precedents Powell’s City of Books Programing 5 Floor Plan Diagrams Design Entrance Bathrooms World Cup Cafe Backrooms/ Break Room Unoccupied Tenant Space
  • 13. Thesis Proposal Precedents Powell’s City of Books Programing 5 Design Nonfiction Huddle Spaces Mystery/ Sci-fi Rarities/ Classics General/ Other Romance Bathrooms
  • 14. Thesis Proposal Precedents Powell’s City of Books Programing 5 Design Children’s Section Gallery Performance/ Book Signning Area
  • 15. Thesis Proposal Precedents Powell’s City of Books Programing 5 Design Entrance
  • 16. Thesis Proposal Precedents Powell’s City of Books Programing 5 Entrance Design
  • 17. Thesis Proposal Precedents Powell’s City of Books Programing 5 Design World Cup Cafe The eastern wall of the World Cup Cafe will have concrete blocks and areas where thyme plants can grow for decoration.
  • 18. Thesis Proposal Precedents Powell’s City of Books Programing 5 Design World Cup Cafe
  • 19. Thesis Proposal Precedents Powell’s City of Books Programing 5 Design Non Fiction Computer Kiosk Design Custom Bookshelf Design
  • 20. Thesis Proposal Precedents Powell’s City of Books Programing 5 Design Non Fiction
  • 21. Thesis Proposal Precedents Powell’s City of Books Programing 5 Design The Romance Section
  • 22. Thesis Proposal Precedents Powell’s City of Books Programing 5 Design The Romance Section
  • 23. Thesis Proposal Precedents Powell’s City of Books Programing 5 Design Children’s Section Through my initial research, I have been committed to designing a space where children can become excited about reading. The building is located in an area of Richmond where SOL scores are typically low. If there was a place that the younger children could go to get excited about reading , their scores could possibly improve in the future. The children’s section features special lounging bookshelves, colorful bean bags, and custom booths for audio books.
  • 24. Thesis Proposal Precedents Powell’s City of Books Programing 5 Design This shows a section of the Sci-fi and Mystery area, underneath the book signing space. Each month Powell’s has a packed calender of events. A new art exhibit is revealed every month in the bookstore’s gallery. Popular events include book signings, and speeches by artists, philosophers, and even former presidents. The area with aluminum louvers is a space for book sigings and events to occur. The gallery can also be accessed by a bridge from the book signing area.
  • 25. Thesis Proposal Precedents Powell’s City of Books Programing 5 Design Second Floor First Floor Mezzanine Floors