• Photocopied magazine picture of the Etam glove shop.

74 Castlereagh Street, Sydney, 1946–47

To maximise views by pedestrians into this narrow (10 ft x 6 in x 31 ft) glove and hosiery shop, Snelling removed the back wall of the existing display window, but his budget prevented him from taking the window’s two glass panels floor to ceiling. To enlarge the main floor area, he cut back the window’s raised floor to create an undulating edge.

To the upper left of the main glass panel, the Etam Pty Ltd logo was suspended from four metal rods. It was assembled from plywood painted powder blue and faced with maroon felt. The window was illuminated by six 200-watt parabolic reflector lamps (incandescent) shaded by handleless aluminium saucepans that had their bottoms removed and concentric louvres inserted.

Following a client brief to provide facilities for three shop assistants, three trapezoid-shaped display counters, each supported by one splayed leg, were projected into the room from a narrow bench (cupboards beneath) along the mirrored, right-hand wall. The left and rear wall were defined by an undulating screen of waxed silver ash battens that concealed a 5-ft-deep triangular storage space in the corner. Hovering above the screen was a maroon-painted curved panel which concealed a series of triple fluorescent tubes (two daylight and one warm-toned) that uplit the new coved ceiling to provide general illumination for the shop floor.

Fitted into the undulating screen were four rectangular display niches, each illuminated by a concealed fluorescent tube, framed with maroon-painted timber and fitted with a hinged glass door and adjustable glass shelf. Carpet was maroon with a patterned texture. Six Snelling Line armless dining chairs were supplied in silver ash with powder blue webbing. Small display stands on the storage bench were made from perspex.

Sources

—Decoration and Glass. 1947. ‘Etam retail glove shop’, March–April, pp. 16–17.

—Snelling, Douglas B. 1947. ‘The retail store … a problem of design’, Rydges, February, pp. 216–17.

—Trevillion, James. 1995. The Adventures of Douglas B. Snelling (dissertation). Sydney: University of Technology, Sydney.