Shopping Center Design 101


Shopping Centers require careful detailed planning in the design phase to maximize space usage, create an attractive environment for customers, and achieve optimal return on your investment with maximized future growth. Attention to certain crucial matters, and decisions made early, increase potential for success.

  1. Location is Key:  When selecting the site for your shopping center, there are specific criteria to include in your search.  Customers want “easy”; easy access, preferably off a main road or intersection, easy parking, easy entry and exit, and easy navigation, meaning not too far from the city. Off-site road improvements may need to be addressed, such as widening of access streets, to alleviate existing traffic flows and avoid excessive congestion. A key factor in driveway design is the directional distribution of traffic entering and exiting.


  • Feasibility Study:  A feasibility study is based on detailed specific data and provides information including a market and location analysis, as well as a risk analysis. It is a vital analysis for the bank loan process and will provide you with a financial picture of your project. A schematic design must be done for analysis.




  • Master Plan:  An effective Master Plan designed efficiently can increase ROI substantially for investors. It shows the most efficient utilization of the property. It shows the proposed building footprint, the best route for traffic flow and appropriate dimensions to ensure city requirements are met to create the center with the utmost functionality.




  • Branding:   Customers are always looking for the new and exciting place to go, so make your exterior elevation appealing to the eye. Go after the retailers you want to occupy your center early in your process, so your retailers are ones that provide input on design.




  • Design Types:  Regardless of size or function, shopping centers have these need to have conceptual design that is utilizes the study of local demographics.



  • Contemporary– Is the architectural design of today. It utilizes the latest trends in all elements of design. The current trending architectural design is exterior metal cladding, mixed with stucco and stone. It utilize more steel than other exterior design types.
  • Modern– is the early- and mid-20th-century architecture embodying the ideals of the machine age: an absence of ornament, structures of steel or concrete, large expanses of glass, a whitewash (usually stucco over brick) or another minimal exterior expression, and open floor plans.
  • Traditional– Design of the past, In commercial retail design application the exterior finishes will be typically brick or stone.


Exterior Design Types Pictures







Contact Maxx Designers to provide its integrated architectural engineering services.

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