john lewis partnership modernist architecture

John Lewis Department Store, Oxford Street, London 1960


In what must have been a very different Oxford Street, John Lewis opened a store selling haberdashery and cloth in 1864. The history of the store is like reading a route map of the development of the best of British design.

Millions of shoppers and tourists from around the world passed by this restrained but confident 1960 modernist building designed by Slater and Uren, completing the flagship project begun in 1929 by Slater, Moberly and Uren which was set back by the blitz, which destroyed the majority of the store in September 1940.

John Lewis shaped retailing in the United Kingdom with its values and ethical sales practices and aspirational good taste.

In 1964 the Winged Figure by the eminent sculptor, Barbara Hepworth was installed.

Architects, Slater and Uren  1960
Image: John McCann / RIBA Collections


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