Commercial Complex ~ History

Commerce  simply its an art of selling and buying goods. In modern world trade and commerce is a mostly used topic. I’ve tried to figure out the development of Commerce simultaneously with architecture .

History links the past to present.It is a point of initiation as after something is completed it becomes a history. Historical backgrounds always impacts social as well as economical aspects of  a particular region.


Development of Civilization initiated trade and commerce.In the history of trade, we know that people used to grow more crops and sell them to other part. Transportation became a medium and architecture germinate in the name of shops.
During Greek civilization, Trade was flourished more and socio-cultural need of that time and AGORA emerged as an new architectural structure.

The Agora of the typical city of ancient Greece was essentially a shopping center in the heart of the business district . The Emperor Trajan’s architect, the Greek slave Apollodorus, built a shopping center adjacent to the Roman Forum in A.D . 110 . It had a two-level enclosed and ventilated mall lined with open-fronted shops startlingly similar to today’s most upto-date concept .


FIG: Greek Agora

(Source: )

Greek Agora developed more during Roman Period. Stoa and Roman forum were common at that time. Roman forums were small open surrounded by government buildings.Shops were inside those surrounding building  while Stoa are open stalls. They became a little bit larger than Greek Agora  but Architectural elements remains more same. Colonnaded feature remains same in both structure.


FIG: Roman Forum

(source: )
After industrial revolution there comes a drastic change in such architecture. Introduction of glass helped a lot to maintain the trade strategy to expose goods in order to attract consumers. Shops of 19th century were constructed giving maximum exposure to the merchandise.In the late 19th century shopping arcades were built in many British towns. Development from  multi shops to arcade shows socio-cultural change of the people.


FIG: 19th century shops of London

Galerie Saint-Hubert

FIG: shopping arcade

In present context business arcade has turned into commercial complexes. It is one of the major element of urban scape. We can say the present commercial complexes are the filtered form of Agora with addition of comfort and need in one. Use of modern material increase transparency level in those structures to maximize exposure.

In this era, many cities are evolving as a business center and Commercial complexes are the one bejeweling it.  Singapore, New York, London,Dubai, Shanghai are the cities with more commercial vibes.  Now a days commercial complexes are designed in order to attract more consumer so they are now equipped with  many leisure components too.


fig: Commercial Complex

Roman’s atrium can still be seen in the present complexes. With relative to time architecture seems changing in the field of trade but the major components of complexes are same. Interior of the present complexes are designed to achieve comfort.


Fig: Atrium
Source:( )


Fig: Interior view of shopping complex


Fig:Shopping complex of Bangkok


Fig: Emporia shopping center


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