There have been many exciting innovations in shop design in recent decades, aided by the rise in designer fashions and consumer culture, especially in the 1980s, and also by the fast turnaround in businesses as new shops come and go quickly. Japanese style has been an enormous influence, and the use of natural materials, open spaces, light effects and above all simplicity (polished floors, glass and steel) has become a familiar feature of hundreds of clothes shops; early examples of this style were for Japanese clients in London, such as Issey Miyake (by David Chipperfield and Ken Armstrong) and Yohji Yamamoto (by Munkenbeck and Marshall). Earlier styles were variously hightech, postmodernist (see postmodernism) or experiments in ‘creative salvage’, such as in the case of several of the shops in London’s Covent Garden. Several of the best examples of architects working to showcase fashion are the remaking of Harrods fashion floor by Jiricna Kerr in 1985, and Foster Associates’ stark warehouse, complete with access by a steel bridge, for Katharine Hamnett. Supermarkets have appeared in ever-increasing numbers in the last two decades, and several have been to experimental designs (though always within corporate lines), such as Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners’ 1989 Sainsbury’s store in Camden Town (Grimshaw has since moved on to designing a north London store for Homebase, the DIY arm of Sainsbury). Malls have also become commonplace; one excellent example is the enormous Ealing Centre (1985) by the Building Design Partnership, which resembles a walled castle.
   See also: housing; office buildings
   Further reading
    Glancey, J. (1989) New British Architecture, London: Thames & Hudson.

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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