I first saw these amazing buildings, almost all of which have now either had their facades removed or have actually been demolished, in the November 2007 issue of Wallpaper. The BEST Products Company of Richmond, Virginia commissioned architect James Wines’ SITE (Sculpture In The Environment) to build nine commercial buildings for them in the 1970s and early 80s. BEST was founded and owned by the Lewises, a Virginia family interested in art and design. BEST stores were famous for their willingness to trade store merchandise for art and as a result the company, as well as the Lewises, gathered a significant collection of 20th century pieces. Much of the Lewis Collection can be seen at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. (See Wikipedia for a more detailed story.) Apparently more photographs of the building above have appeared in books on 20th century architecture than any other modern structure. Some interesting videos about the Best buildings are here. And Part 2 of this blog post is here.
Tags: architectural design, architecture, art, BEST Products Company, box store, brick, conceptual design, favorite, favourite, James Wines, landscape, New York, Peeling Project, Richmond, Sculpture In The Environment, SITE, smart, Sydney Lewis, Virginia