Commercial design is a much more complex and challenging process to that of residential design. There are a lot of key elements which need to be considered in order to make a commercial space a success and the most important is functionality. Without it there, a number of errors that could arise and these could be detrimental to the business’ efficiency and performance.

Specific Requirements

All commercial spaces will have their own set of requirements. It’s really important to ensure these are the biggest consideration when designing the space because if they are not implemented at the start it’s very difficult and costly to revisit them after all the work is finished.

Attention needs to be given to power and plumbing, not just the set up but also the positioning. This will differ for each building and also for each business type. If it’s an office space, there will need to be a large amount of power sockets close to each desk and if it’s a shop the focus for power sockets needs to be on the central till areas. Communication and audio visual systems will be another major requirement so it is good practice to fully understand the needs of the business and how it works.

Space and Light

There is little point in having large areas of unused space in commercial design – the only business that might benefit from this is a luxury brand shop which wants to promote a sophisticated atmosphere – but the general rule of thumb is to utilize all of the available space effectively.

Light is another area that requires a lot of attention. This means natural and artificial light are both equally important. If you have a building with large windows and lots of natural light, then take advantage of this and make it the most important area within the design – light makes people feel happy and provides a sense of space. Even if artificial lights aren’t the main source they must still be given a lot of thought as to their positioning, type and function.


As well as a firm grasp of architecture the designer must also have an artistic sense so that the spaces they create are functional but also visually appealing. Much like a fashion designer, an architect needs to consider the impact of their design on the people to whom it effects. An architect who achieves this perfectly is Peter Marino whose work in numerous luxury flagship stores has gained him high praise and recognition in the design world.

When embarking on a commercial design project it is a good idea to use architects or designers that have previously worked on similar projects to your own. Their experience on previous projects will have given them sufficient knowledge to the needs of that particular form of commercial enterprise and they will likely be aware of your overall requirements.

A great architect should consider the businesses needs and work with the client to come up with practical and functional but