The World as a Supermarket
Retail architecture may be more strongly influenced by topical trends than other types of construction, but the examples of consumer buildings contained in this month's issue impressively disprove Michel Houllebecq's theory that modern architecture simply avails itself of a programme in which functions are stacked above each other on a kind of structural shelving. Erotically curving volumes and the sensuous use of precious materials may conceal the inner functions from the outside, yet these iconic structures create new brand images. Another trend lies in establishing links between sales departments and other services and leisure facilities. Today, retail buildings – from the smallest shop to the largest entertainment centre -– are often related to some form of consumer experience.