• Perspective sketch of the Dasi pen shop.

135 Pitt Street, Sydney, 1947

Built in the basement of a heritage building, the shop was accessed by a central flight of stairs. As customers descended into the space, they saw a rear wall of cork-backed silver ash display cases with cupboards and drawers beneath. The open storage displayed pens and inks. The closed storage was concealed by one of two freestanding merchandise display and storage units. These were constructed of clear-lacquered silver ash set at right angles toward the back of the shop and linked by a floating, irregularly shaped countertop.

To create false perspective, the side walls and conduit-crossed ceiling were painted flat dark blue, to reduce visibility of this background for a lower ceiling formed with 1.5-in-wide ash battens fixed at 6-in centers; these were screwed directly to the walls but suspended 1 ft below the original ceiling. Flooring was tallowwood parquetry squares.

To the left of the entry steps, a ‘quick-repair’ counter was installed in a space measuring about 4 ft square. To the right of the entrance, a customer waiting area included two Snelling line armless lounge chairs and a triangular timber coffee table. The chairs were upholstered in a deep red fabric to colour-match a door to the back of the shop and minor components.

Sources

—Building and Engineering. 1947. ‘The ‘Dasi’ Pen Shop: modern display and decoration’, 25 August, p. 28.

—Building and Engineering. 1948. ‘Modern display: the work of Douglas B. Snelling & Associates: the ‘new look’ in display’, 24 July, pp. 26–27.

—Decoration and Glass. 1947. ‘Dasi Pen Shop: designed by Douglas B. Snelling Associates’, November–December, pp. 26–28.