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architecture - city - Arcades Project (1927 - 1940) - Walter Bejamin - shopping

Galeries St. Hubert (1846), Brussels


An arcade is a passage or walkway covered over by a succession of arches or vaults supported by columns, or else it is a covered passage fronted by a series of arches.

In cities, buildings with arcades along their street-level fronts, the interior faces of city walls, and bridges covered by arcades all became popular locations for small shops and stalls. They were protected from sun and weather and attracted considerable, guaranteed foot traffic. Over time, the term "arcade" came to be used specifically for streets lined with small vendors. (Roofed-over arcades, known in Italy as gallerias, later developed into shopping malls.)

The term was also adopted by carnivals and amusement parks, where the row of shops selling food and other goods were joined by those offering games of various sorts and were called "amusement arcades" or "midways". Amusement arcades were later opened as permanent establishments. The games came to be known as arcade games, and since the explosion of electronic games in the 1970s these establishments became known as video arcades. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcade_%28Architecture%29 [Feb 2005]

Galeries St. Hubert (1846) in Brussels

In 1846 King Leopold I laid the first stone for the construction of the royal galleries Saint-Hubert in Brussels, designed by architect J. P. Cluysenaer as an enclosed shopping environment with a glass and metal roof. Although other enclosed galleries had been built in Europe, St. Hubert would be the oldest covered gallery to survive to the present day. --http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/soc/shoppingcenter2.html [Feb 2005]

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