Built in
140 Maiden Lane, San Francisco, California, United States
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As the Morris shop in Maiden Lane, San Francisco, was built in 1949 and the construction of the Guggenheim Museum began in 1956, has often been assumed erroneously that the proposed trade was developed before the museum. But it was in the museum, whose ups dating back to 1943, where Wright first used the ramp inside the building as a feature, with VC Morris’s first prototype.

While in the gift shop is less caracterizante Morris, Wright’s presence dominates the interior design, as a line of movement from the ground floor to the second level. This was in itself a remodel of the existing trade, but instead of the usual window, Wright placed an arch of brick and glass on the wall, which is otherwise smooth.

Customers showed some concern to see that the store did not have the usual window that gave onto the street. Wright explained that this design was not designed to promote the items on the street, but on the contrary, the role of the arched tunnel of glass overlooking the interior was to entice the buyer to look inside to see the items set forth in the ledge of rock beneath the bow and open the door below. So this post funny Wright described as “the mousetrap.” Once there, the clerk would welcome the customer, “Go.” Can I help?

This structure is recognized by the American Institute of Architects as one of the seventeen Wright buildings that best represent their contribution to American culture, why it was considered essential to their conservation.

Currently the building is occupied by the Art Gallery Xanadú.


The gift shop was built VCMorris at 140 Maiden Lane, San Francisco, near Union Square, a place now known as one of the most elegant commercial tours of the city in the years of remodeling was a street with a bad reputation.


The gift shop CVMorris is hidden behind a circular volume of a simple brick wall.

The main entrance is through an updated version of the Roman arch, the curve is repeated in the interior details. The grille on the left of the vertical tunnel – arc is created by removing the section of brick, the structure being coated with glass and highlighted by recessed lights. According to Wright this type of entry attracts more transient when the merchandise is displayed in the windows looking onto the sidewalk.

Inside the store, Wright placed a circular mezzanine, reached by a spiral ramp, floating upward, which is the hub around which develops the rest of the store and the remarkable structure. Circular holes drilled and illuminated the curved wall of the ramp, allowing the display of exhibits.

The system of wooden furniture and glass are also made up of circular segments.

Light is provided by a network of interlocked and translucent balloons suspended above the circular space.


A delicate line of translucent panels with a geometric motif, classic Wright, hidden lights in the exterior wall.

The interior space seems to turn below the luminosity emitted from the ceiling white plexiglass bubbles, which create an opalescent effect and evokes the organic geometry of the interior of the Johnson Wax building.

The brick itself, quite common in the architecture of San Francisco, is used beautifully and draws attention in silence instead of competing with the buildings surrounding the street.

The internal ramp and the second level are made with reinforced concrete target.