Shopping Towns Europe

Shopping Towns Europe: Commercial Collectivity and the Architecture of the Shopping Centre, 1945–1975

by Janina Gosseye

Janina Gosseye is a postdoctoral research fellow at TUDelft, the Netherlands. She has co-edited several books, including Hot Modernism: Queensland Architecture 1945-1975 (2015), Water Urbanisms (2008), Reclaiming (the Urbanism of) Mumbai (2009) and The Specific and the Singular – Architecture in Flanders (2010). Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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and Tom Avermaete

Tom Avermaete is professor of architecture at TU Delft, the Netherlands. He is the author of Another Modern: the Post-War Architecture and Urbanism of Candilis-Josic-Woods (2005), and co-editor of Colonial Modern: Aesthetics of the Past, Rebellions for the Future (2010) and Structuralism Reloaded: Rule-Based Design in Architecture and Urbanism (2011). Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2017
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    978-1-4742-6737-3 (hardback)

    978-1-4742-6738-0 (epdf)

    978-1-4742-6740-3 (epub)

    978-1-4742-6739-7 (online)
  • Edition:
    First Edition
  • Place of Publication:
  • Published Online:
Shopping Towns Europe
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Shopping Towns Europe is the first book to explore the introduction and dissemination of the shopping centre in Europe.

European shopping centres are often assumed to be no more than carbon copies of their American precursors – however the wide-ranging case studies featured in this book reveal a very different story. Drawing connections between architectural history, political economy and commerce, together these studies tell us much about the status and role of modernist design, the history of consumption, and the rapidly-changing social, urban, and national contexts of post-war Europe.

The book’s eighteen chapters explore case studies spanning the continent on both sides of the Iron Curtain, from Britain and The Netherlands to Sweden and the USSR. The focus is on the three decades following the first introduction of the new typology in 1945, tracing the variety of typological manifestations that occurred in widely different contexts, from Keynesianism to communism to military dictatorship. The book also explores the role of the shopping centre in urban reconstruction, and examines how new shopping centres were designed to elicit specifically modern behaviour and introduce new conceptions of collectivity into citizens’ everyday lives.