An inspiring bookshop that extends the museum experience
The bookshop on the third floor of the Van Gogh Museum, formerly the museum's restoration studio, was in need of a makeover. The Van Gogh Museum commissioned us to design a new bookshop that would appeal to two target groups: museum visitors looking for souvenirs or memorabilia from current exhibits and connoisseurs who want to further explore the work of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries. In addition, the shop had to feel like a logical extension of the inspiring museum experience. The aim was to increase visitor numbers and conversion rate per visitor, and thus turnover, by at least 10%.
bookshop brings Van Gogh to life
a shop that serves two target groups equivalently
improved visibility and accessibility
27% increase in turnover
retail helps culture to thrive
Van Gogh Museum
Van Gogh bookstore
The new layout enables the museum to optimally serve the two target groups. In the front of the shop are gifts and souvenirs inspired by the life and work of Vincent van Gogh. The more quiet back of the stop is a treasure trove of information about Van Gogh and his art, providing connoisseurs with a space for contemplation. New signage and other fixtures and communications reinforce the new layout.
The bookshop is organised in such a way that it encourages browsing and features a focal point which leads visitors through a relatively narrow section to the back of the shop. Elements from Van Gogh's studio are used as focal points. There's a window overlooking Museumplein and the museum library at the opposite side of the square. The perfect place for an easel. There are 150 brushes hanging upside down on the ceiling next to the window, dipped in Van Gogh's favourite colours. 'Colour expresses something in itself. One can't do without it; one must make use of it. What looks beautiful, really beautiful — is also right,' Vincent wrote to his brother Theo. Van Gogh would sketch out his vision for a painting as practice before beginning the painting. These studies can be seen on the wall beside the window.
The use of colour in the shop and the visual style of the furniture is based on Van Gogh's painting The Bedroom, dating from 1888. Van Gogh's last studio was in this house. The bedside table from the painting features as a presentation table in the shop, finished in modern materials and detailing. The typical French chair that can be seen in many of Van Gogh's works is also in the bookshop. A perfect place to quietly read a book.
The visibility and accessibility of the shop have been greatly improved by widening the entrance. The museum and the bookshop flow into one another, with the spatial design guiding museum visitors from exhibition to shop. As a result, visitor numbers have increased considerably.
The bookshop, in the spirit of Vincent van Gogh, in his use of colour, detailing and objects.
The typical French chair, made of contemporary materials and detailing is the place to quietly look at a book.
The focal point on the wall: the pencils image, in which 5312 pencils were used to make a self-portrait of Vincent van Gogh.