100 20th Century Shops

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Financial Times - Best Architecture and Design Books of 2023
Dezeen - Best Architecture and Design Books of 2023
Shortlisted for the 2024 Architecture Book Awards

A celebration of the architecturally significant shops that shaped Britain’s high streets and shopping habits through the twentieth century and beyond.

As Britain’s retail landscape is rapidly changing, now is the time to appreciate the architectural heritage of our beloved high streets. Between 2015 and 2022, 52% of all department stores closed in the UK, something that prompted the Twentieth Century Society to launch a campaign to save these historically important buildings.

Our new book, 100 20th-Century Shops, showcases shops of all kinds, from supermarkets, bookshops and co-ops to furniture stores, shopping centres and pedestrianised precincts. The book offers an insight into the history and evolution of Britain’s consumer culture, capturing the diverse design trends that emerged, with architectural styles ranging from Art Deco and brutalist to Festival style and moderne.

Featured are shops that have been open for a century, including grade II*-listed Heal’s and grade II-listed Liberty’s in London. Meanwhile, others are at risk of demolition, including the brutalist Cumbernauld Town Centre and Aberdeen’s Norco House, which was included on Twentieth Century Society’s 2023 risk list of the top 10 most threatened twentieth and twenty-first century buildings across the UK.

Writing about the shops are leading architectural critics and historians including Gillian Darley, Alistair Fair, Posy Metz and Elain Harwood, who also explores the evolution of post-war market buildings. Other essays include Lynn Pearson on the influence of co-ops, Matthew Whitfield on the growth of department stores, Kathryn A. Morrison on retail chains and Bronwen Edwards on the ephemeral world of fashion boutiques.

Dimensions: 230 x 230 mm
Extent: 256 Pages, hardback
Publication: Batsford Books, November 2023
ISBN: 9781849947701