The Abandoned, Apocalyptic Architecture of One Bold 1970s Retail Chain

From 1972 to 1984, Best Products collaborated with the design firm SITE to transform many of its stores into stunning and bizarre works of art. These special showrooms, as they were called, generated fanfare, admiration, and controversy across the United States.

One of SITE’s striking retail creations, the “Indeterminate Facade,” in Houston, Texas, around 1975. COURTESY OF SITE

They were hotly debated in architecture circles, and ultimately became textbook examples of of postmodern architecture—playful and critical, providing mass appeal while challenging assumptions about how “serious” art should look, and where it should be found.

“Inside/Out,” Milwaukee, circa 1994. COURTESY OF SITE

It’s the end of the world as we know it, and Best Products is having a sale.

Read and see more Best Products and SITE collaborations on atlasobscura.com

atlasobscura.com: The Abandoned, Apocalyptic Architecture of One Bold 1970s Retail Chain