Top Three Ways Decorative Architectural Glass Is Defining Today’s Experiential Retail Design

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Versatile Specialty Glass Helps Create a Sense of Mystery & Discovery, Retro-Chic Appeal, and Environments Primed for Rapid Transformation

Decorative architectural glass is changing the way designers shape contemporary retail spaces, creating instant eye-catching cues to draw in shoppers during the holiday season and beyond. Our design consultants point to three macro tendencies – renewed retro-chic, cosmic luminosity, and metamorphic design – that will define the use of specialty glass and drive its development and specification in 2019.

Renewed Retro-Chic

The desire to create retail experiences imbued with a sense of mystery and discovery is driving the growing use of privacy textured glass in contemporary store fronts and partitions, as seen throughout Droese Raney Architecture’s Forty Five Ten fashion flagship in Dallas, TX. The multilevel boutique features our retro-chic linear textured glass, installed in matte-black divided-lite frames. Our exclusive Houdini™ micro-fluted glass creates the fitting room doors, combining the highest level of privacy and light transmittance.

Forty Five Ten Flagship Store | Bendheim Houdini Glass

Forty Five Ten Flagship Store, Dallas, TX by Droese Raney Architecture. Photo by Amber Jones.

Cosmic Luminosity

There is a growing demand for back-lit, luminous, sparkling architectural glass surfaces, including Bendheim’s color-shifting dichroic glass varieties. At the World Trade Center’s new Forever 21 apparel store in New York City by McCall Design, our Optichroic® glass clads the walls and retail displays in vivid, dynamic colors that reflect and amplify the ambient light. The shifting glass hues add a kinetic quality to the space, drawing customers in.

Retail Display - World Trade Center | Back-Painted Optichroic® Glass

Retail Display – World Trade Center, New York, NY by McCall Design. Photo by Donald Jayson.

A back-lit channel glass rainscreen facade by Bendheim is the attention-grabber at the recently renovated Blu Dot modern furniture showroom in West Hollywood, CA, by Standard Architecture. The luminous cantilevered glass rainscreen transforms the 70-year old structure, creating an otherworldly floating “crown.” The glass system’s unique frame design, free of intermediate vertical framing, contributes to the structure’s uniform, shadow-free cosmic glow.

Blu Dot Showroom | Bendheim Channel Glass Project

Blu Dot Showroom, West Hollywood, CA by Standard Architecture. Photo by Benny Chan.

Metamorphic Design

The necessity to design retail spaces that accommodate rapid transformations, including brand- and seasonally-driven updates, is a driving force in the development of our newest architectural glass systems. Bendheim now provides quick-install exterior and interior glass cladding systems for the rapid addition and replacement of decorative glass, facilitating metamorphic designs. With our new TurnKey interior wall system, crews can update glass walls within minutes, demolition-free. For multi-store designs, the ease-of-use and flexibility of the system provide a rapid, budget-friendly method to welcome new tenants. Inside retail spaces, graphic glass panels can be replaced almost instantly for new product roll-outs or to service systems behind the cladding, such as LED back-lighting. Bendheim is currently working with a major national retailer to use TurnKey for up to 1,000 locations throughout the country.


TurnKey™ Mid Clip and Channel

The National Retail Federation points to experiential design as one of the key influencers in contemporary retail concepts. Our experts predict this type of design – characterized by memorable spaces designed for change – will continue to drive the specification of decorative architectural glass in the new year.

About Bendheim

Bendheim is one of the world’s foremost resources for specialty architectural glass. Founded in New York City in 1927, the fourth-generation, family-owned company offers a virtually unlimited range of in-stock and custom architectural glass varieties. Bendheim develops, fabricates, and distributes its products worldwide. The company maintains production facilities in New Jersey and an extensive showroom in New York City