McNally Jackson Café

New York, NY
completed 2009
photos by Maggie Soladay Photography and Yvonne Brooks

McNally Jackson Books, the largest independent booksellers in downtown Manhattan, wished to re-conceptualize the café and seating area as a place evocative of literature. The realized space creates visceral connections to the act of reading in each programmatic function. Folding desks carved from walnut in the shape of books are easily stored against the back wall when not in use. Suspended books intertwined with bare bulbs intrigue the passer-by as they cast a romantic play of shadow and light. A clever trompe d’oeil wallpaper surrounds the café in the rustling pages of literature.

"On the counter there were some croissants in a basket, and he ate one and drank a cup of coffee, gazing vaguely into the street, and finally carried off, for Therese, the small pot, a cup, two pieces of sugar in his pocket, and some croissants."
—Simenon, Georges. Monsieur Monde Vanishes. 161.