Friday, July 27, 2012

Nice Bookstore

Recently I've seen a car commercial far too many times that is shot partly, of all places, in a bookstore. My first thought was not, "Gee whiz, what a nice car," it was, "My, that's a nice bookstore."

[Screenshot | click image to view commercial]

Digging around the internet with keyword searches "bookstore", "tree", "car commercial", and combinations of those and other words, I could not find the store. But then I considered that most likely a commercial would be shot in Los Angeles, then Hennessey + Ingels came to mind. I'd visited their Santa Monica store many years ago, and even though they no longer have that store on the 3rd Street Promenade (they moved to nearby Wilshire Blvd.), the commercial actually happens to be shot in their Hollywood store.

Space 15 Twenty is the name of "the unique retail setting" where Hennessey + Ingels is located. It is one of nine stores (Urban Outfitters is the anchor) in "the curated environment" that also includes an outdoor courtyard, local music, film and art venues, a gallery and a pop-up shop. I'm not sure if the tree is a permanent fixture in the store or placed their for the commercial, but the curved ceiling and exposed structure are features shared by it and the other stores. Combined with the courtyard and skylights (note they light cast on her red dress from one), it adds up to a pretty damn nice bookstore.

Update/Correction: As Quixote's comment indicates, I was wrong, wrong, wrong. The store is not Hennessey + Ingels, it's Skylight Books on Vermont Ave. also in LA. Below is a photograph comparing H+I and Skylight Books:

[L: Hennessey + Ingels (source) | R: Skylight Books (source)]

The reason for my confusion is evident, given the ceilings' shapes and materials, but the diagonal articulation of the wood members is clearly not happening at H+I, only at Skylight. Not sure how I'd think straight members are the same. Nevertheless, thanks to Quixote for fixing my error.


  1. This is actually Skylight Books in Los Feliz. Much cooler than H+I. And, Yes, the tree is always there!

    1. Thanks, Quixote. Fixed the post per your eagle eye.

  2. As an ardent bibliophile, this has excited me terribly. This is indeed a beautiful bookstore and I love the tree in the centre! Trees and books are a perfect combination!

  3. there are a lot of those cool roof structures around LA.. short diagonal members along a vault.. pretty sweet one on Abbot Kinney in the liquor store if I remember correctly. And those are my two favorite book stores in LA.

  4. I love so much the inside tree also the architecture of the building.
    Residential architect london

  5. I love this and think you did well to get close to the right store.

  6. Very nice bookstore indeed. The tree definitely sets it apart as well as the high ceiling rooftop design.

  7. Skylight Books is basically a regular bookstore. Some alternative stuff but not alternative enough to make it stand out. Tachen books aplenty. I enjoy architecture / art / rare books so I go to the back room of H+L. Skylight books is not much cooler than H+L. Honestly, these photos make it look much better than it is. The tree is nice.

  8. Lamella roof structures are great!

  9. Skylight is a real neighborhood bookstore, rare indeed in the era of domination. The annex next door (not pictured) has an amazing array of art and architecture books, and they will order anything for you. The space with the tree is beautiful, but it's special (and much "cooler" than H&L) because you can read there as long as you want.

  10. The selection of Architecture books at Skylight though is pretty weak. But it is really good for all the other things I like to read.

  11. PS Both current H+I locations were designed by Marmol Radziner of Los Angeles. The Santa Monica store was in another commercial last year but I don't remember what product was being advertised.

  12. PPS - These types of wood roof structures are called Lamella.


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