The Modern Shop

Selfridges department store, Oxford Street, London
The Modern ShopArchitecture and shopping between the wars

Image: Selfridges, London © RIBA Library Photographs Collection


In the 1920s and 1930s architects produced a number of striking shop designs in Britain. Influenced by the 1925 Paris exhibition and other Continental examples, many shops and chain stores rebuilt their premises, or at least modernised their façades. Architects became interested in shop design, using marble, neon and chrome, and critics praised the way in which the Modern Movement revitalised this sphere of design. Many of these innovative interiors and façades are now sadly gone.


The Influence of the 1925 Paris Exhibition
Poster for Austin Reed, Regent Street, London

The impact of French design on British shops 

Diversity in Shop Design
Bata, Wenceslas Square, Prague

The appearance of new technology and changing styles

Multiples and Standardisation
Marks & Spencer, Murraygate, Dundee

Corporate identity and the use of standard designs

Developments Abroad
Bata, Wenceslas Square, Prague

The work of Modernist architects in mainland Europe

The Emergence of Modern Shop Design in Britain
Cresta Silks, Brompton Road, London

The increased use of designs with clean, simple lines and smooth façades



Based on the exhibition ‘The Modern Shop: Architecture & Shopping between the Wars’ from the V&A + RIBA Architecture Partnership, held 2 March - 4 June 2006 in Room 128a, Architecture Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum.

Curator: Eleanor Gawne (RIBA)
Supported by the Drue Heinz Trust

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