Bergmeyer 11.08.06 MFA: Exhibition Shop
Wall displays can be created in a multitude of variations.
pieces would be joined. “For me, it is always
a close collaboration,” says Hyatt. “My pref-
erence is to involve the supplier as early as
possible, but that’s not always possible due
In the end, the team settled on solid sur-
facing for inside pieces and doors, and 3/8-
inch steel for the structure and surface.
Welding on the outside and heavy-duty
hinges ensures strong joinery that can
handle heavy weight, while the powder-
coated steel is extremely scratch-resistant
and easily maintained.
The result meets the retailer’s request for
a shop that will last at least 10 years. While
Bylykbashi has seen a trend toward more
frequent remodeling and attendant diminished expectations of fixture lifespan,
museums tend to move slower. “They don’t
refresh often and they renovate even less
often,” notes Hyatt.
And their need for fixtures that remain
in the background are, if anything, even
greater than the typical retailer’s. Many
products sold in museum shops replicate
imagery or form of the works to which they
pay homage, and they may be accompanied by vibrant visual merchandising and
marketing materials. This fixture package
provides a neutral backdrop for exhibition
See slideshow with more images of this project
Prototype Unusual Fixtures
ThAnKS To CoLLABorATIon between
designer and manufacturer, the extreme
durability requirement for this store was met,
but it came at a price. one might even say a
heavy price (pun intended). “We knew the
fixtures would be heavy, but they are even
heavier than we anticipated,” says Project
Designer and Architect Matthew hyatt.
So heavy, in fact, that they can’t be moved
even a couple of inches without equipment.
For a store designed to sport a new fixture
configuration every few months or so, that
was a little less wiggle room than hyatt
would have preferred. Fortunately, it won’t
stop the retailer from using the fixturing
“kit of parts” as intended. Museums have
heavy-duty moving equipment on hand,
along with the crew to operate it, due to
the need to move heavy exhibits.
nonetheless, hyatt wishes the museum
had used its several-years lead time to
have the fixtures prototyped. “If we had, we
probably would have tried to lighten them,”
he says. Lighter fixtures could have made for
less-challenging shipping and installation
with fewer last-minute adjustments.
stories with clean, modern styling, lots of
grays, and flat surfaces.
As part of the museum’s new wing, the
shop opened to fanfare in November, providing a showcase for exhibition-related
merchandise for years to come.
Jo Rossman, LEED AP
ID+C, is senior editor of
Retail Environments and
manager of sustainability and
designer programs for A.R.E.
Contact her at 954-241-
4821, or e-mail jorossman@