If we take some examples of traditional shops like Victorian and Georgian then definitely these are some of the impressive shopfronts of 20th century which depict about striking architecture work. These designs definitely ignite the need of shop fronts.
By the mid of 20th century shopfronts were used to make with exotic hardwood and polished with brass wide spread all over the British towns. Leading architects like Joseph Emberton got the inspiration Paris Exhibition and designed shopfronts that spread Art Deco in the shopping streets of Europe.
By the end of 1920 mainly two designs of the shopfronts were introduced minimalist which was constructed with the sleek and vivid materials and the other was traditional design which was made up of curved glass entrances, leaded glass to the clerestory and marble with the tiled entrance floor. Even the stained glass was in use for domestic and shops by this century.
Both these designs were having common feature that were geometric detailing , integral blinds , decorative stall- riser vents and both timber and glass window screens.
Material used for Shopfronts
In the beginning of 20th century steel was introduced that affect the designs of the shopfronts by the time. It made the design more simple and attractive than the cast iron which was its proceeded. The exterior finishes with this steel framing.
With the passage of time other materials also crept in the market like decorative ceramics and even cladding in marble, errazzo and Vitrolite were introduced which were enough to change the traditional look overnight.
Even in 1933 Travertine marble, black granite, Roman Stone, bronze, embossed glass, walnut and stainless steel were came into the shopfront field. Green marble was also next in the pipe line which was fashionable. From the entire pipe line Vitrolite was most popular and in great demand for the shopfronts.
In the art deco period some used the glazing options for the glass for innovative and new look for the shops. For the smooth finish of the shopfront designs Faience and terrazzo were also in great designs. Even in the traditional shopfronts there were many color options available for the shop owners to give trendy look to their fronts.
Even Chain stores like Burtons make the great contribution for the appealing designs of the shopfronts which were designed with the modern and new style material.
Problems with Traditional Designs
These designs might be perfect for that time but with the passage these also come in front with the problems and weaknesses like minimalist design was that which could be destroyed easily and other one victorial design were robust and durable but it was still not up to the mark.
Some materials used were not appreciated because of cracking option even cladding marble was not hard to destroy. So there was great need for the changes in the traditional designs of shopfronts of early century.
Future of shopfronts
While considering the weaknesses of 20th century designs new designs were more challenging for the architectures so many changes and new material was introduced by the 21 century which make the designs durable and reliable for the facades of shops.