Using glass in retail and commercial architecture

Few materials are as versatile as glass. It is suitable for glazing as well as a myriad of indoor applications. As a result you can see it on every single building in one way or another. It is especially popular for commercial architecture.


In commercial spaces the goal is to ensure visitors and employees have a great experience. To do this the space needs to be light and airy. Lots of windows can help with this. Another option is to choose glazed interior walls and room dividers rather than brick or plasterboard. The glazing will allow light to filter through the whole property, ensuring no areas are left feeling dark and dingy.


There are lots of potential applications for glass in commercial properties. This is helped by the fact that it can come in an array of colours and levels of transparency. In addition it is also possible to choose different textures and finishes.

Glass is a great option if you want to display products. You can use texturing to create different effects and really make displays stand out. There is even glazing that looks like flowing water. Combining different textures is a great idea and can result in a real feast for the eyes.

You can add backlighting to all kinds of glass installations. The lights can be any kind of colour and also change over the course of a day if you wish. You can use them internally to light displays or have them lighting external glazing. The latter can be a really great option because it contributes to the urban environment too. Many businesses use the colours of their logo.

Glass does not have to be entirely transparent. You can opt for various levels, including designs that provide complete privacy without blocking the path of the light. This means you don’t have to worry about private offices or meeting rooms being too dark or filled with jarring artificial light. These spaces can have the same feel as the rest of the building but with the privacy you seek.

Rely on Coffey Architects

Whether it is a large office or a small shop, we can help you to use glass to stunning effect. Just have a look at our award winning window display for Smeg and our other commercial architecture projects. If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us.