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The views of DLG Architects


23 DLG Demonstrates that Listed Buildings can suit Modern Retail Requirements

Inside: The Latest Project Updates New Appointment at DLG Best Architect 2006 The Octagon, Bath

Feature Article November 2006

Adaptation is Required in Britain’s Towns... Its hard to imagine that the UK could be considered a nation of clone towns when there are so many attractive market towns vying for our weekend breaks, so many articles in the Sunday papers urging us to leave the city to enjoy local cuisine and become experts in vernacular architecture. The New Economics Foundation grabbed the headlines with their ‘Clone Town Britain’ report earlier this year and we all remembered the same familiar shop fascias that can be found in every medium sized town. This was a campaign against chain stores; towns were awarded points on the basis of the number of independent retailers that trade there. An independent DIY store (white spirit £2.99) gains a town 10 times as many points as a national retailer (white spirit £1.49). A nation of aspiring property developers can afford to do no less than drive the 15 miles to the nearest B+Q. The British Council of Shopping Centres sheds light on the shopping preferences of various age groups with young people preferring big centres where they can find the brands to which they are loyal. Late middle age brings on a desire to return to the high street – perhaps to find those ‘unique and distinctive products’ to which the NEF thinks we all aspire. A mass of statistics have been assembled by the BCSC to help us understand the nation’s shopping habits and one thing is clear: price, range and convenience outweigh ambience in virtually every shoppers’ choice of destination. Clone towns seem to have the advantage over their charming but expensive ‘Home Town’ neighbours. Any measure of a town’s attraction as a shopping destination must surely take into account the benefits offered by its supermarkets, its fashion and sports stores, its DIY warehouse as well as its independent traders. It is this balance that will keep people shopping in their home town and this is recognised by many independent traders. In Upper Norwood, in anticipation of the increased footfall, they threw a party for Sainsbury when they re-opened a former Safeway store. Yet the NEF praises Lewes for its traditional character and sense of individuality and suggests ‘much of this is due to strict planning regulation, which prevent chain stores from getting the size of shop floors they demand’. Brighton and London beckon the teenagers and young families of Lewes.

Market towns can retain their identity and provide modern retail environments

Fitting chain stores into our market towns, locating superstores within walking distance of the high street and creating pedestrian environments which allow shoppers and visitors to enjoy our historic town centres without creating a nocturnal no-mans land – these are the challenges for Britain’s towns. And whilst the NEF campaigns to keep multiples away from town and city centres, DLG and their clients are demonstrating both to planning authorities and to English Heritage that the future of listed and historic streets and buildings can be secured by adapting them to suit modern retail requirements. Our creative solutions to DDA ‘problems’ are helping developers and retailers see the value of what was once regarded as secondary space. And the retailers themselves are showing that their brands are strong enough to leave behind the visual monotony of uniform fascias and still attract shoppers to their stores and to those of their independent neighbours. Jill Rayson Partner

Jill Rayson, Partner DLG London Office - Jill has extensive experience of retail developments including the award winning Windsor Royal Station and refurbishments of small and large retail centres and is a member of the British Council of Shopping Centres. She has also completed a number of office schemes, refurbishments, and housing developments and has extensive experience of projects involving listed or historic buildings.


Project News Update November 2006

The Octagon, Bath

Union Green - Proposal

DLG has secured planning approval for the conversion of a Grade I listed Georgian chapel adjacent to Shires Yard on Milsom Street, Bath. The Octagon, as it is known, is to be transformed together with adjoining buildings to create seven new boutique retail units. Plans have also been granted to redevelop an adjoining building into a Moon & Sixpence Restaurant, create a new landscaped courtyard and upgrade access routes in and around the historic site. On behalf of L & R Group, which holds the long lease for the site, DLG has invested more than two years working in close collaboration with planning officers and the Historic Environment Team at Bath and North East Somerset Council that were complimentary about the final proposal. The £3 million project will see the conversion of The Octagon for retail use and the formation of new public routes to and around the building. Demolition of buildings constructed in the 1980’s and construction of a new raised walkway will form a new public route from Milsom Street to Broad Street via the existing Shears Yard and Moon & Sixpence Yard. New entrances to the rear of existing properties and new construction at high level will improve access to existing shops and increase the unit size of others. Ken Elliott, Director at the L & R Group, comments; “The DLG team has worked meticulously to arrive at a sensitive design that combines the best of the old fabric with the modern requirements of today’s retailers. It not only works for our own commercial interests for the site but also compliments the desires of the local authority that is understandably a careful guardian of this world heritage city.” Work is expected to start on site in November 2006 with completion for fit out anticipated in June 2007. L & R Group is already in detailed negotiations with high quality fashion and restaurant operators.

Bramley Shopping Centre, Leeds DLG has secured formal planning permission for the redevelopment of Bramley District Shopping Centre in Leeds. The proposal includes 24,500 sq ft of new retail space, improvements to parking facilities, access and landscaping.

Major Retail Lift for Aberdeen City Centre Planning permission has been obtained on behalf of client, Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) for the multimillion pound retail re-development of Union Green in Aberdeen city centre. The proposed re-development includes the extension, reconfiguration and refurbishment of various prime properties on Union Street where the city’s busy indoor market is located. On completion the development will create approximately 150,000 sq ft of renewed space for prime retail occupation. It is proposed that existing major tenants that include Bhs and Top Shop, will re-occupy the improved units following completion and as such the scheme will be phased to minimise disruption to trading with the first major retailer opening in 2008.

DLG Gets Approval for One of UK’s Largest Urban Renewal Projects DLG has secured formal planning consent to deliver one of the largest urban renewal projects in the country. Plans for the £175 million Waterfront Quarter development in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire were finally approved by Kirklees Council. After more than 18 months masterplanning for the scheme with client Ramsden and Colne Developments, DLG has arrived at a concept that will deliver 800,000 sq ft of prestigious mixed-use buildings within a landscaped setting that has potential to create up to 2,000 jobs in the town. It is estimated that the transformation of the site will take up to four years with the first phase of the residential part of the development starting in spring next year, with a 12-month build period.


Project News Update November 2006

The Academy Aberdeen

Former Caleys Store

Fresh from the success of obtaining planning permission for alterations to the Union Green Shopping Centre, Aberdeen for client Royal London Asset Management (RLAM) DLG is hoping to be equally successful with The Academy. Also part of the RLAM portfolio, The Academy on Belmont Street, as its name suggests is a former school, turned shopping centre. From the exterior the buildings appearance gives little indication of the shopping centre within, which coupled with the fact that it is not on one of Aberdeen’s main shopping routes has meant that the centre has struggled to attract key retailers and a number of units lie empty. DLG are developing proposals to revitalise the centre by reworking the current units to create larger spaces allowing tenants to grow, and also exploring where further new space may be created. Improved signage and entrances are also being developed to strengthen the image of the building as a ‘boutique’ shopping centre to attract shoppers in search of more individual purchases. The reconfigured units are also aimed at attracting coffee shops and restaurants into the centre to complete the retail shopping experience. Planning restrictions to the listed building are one obstacle that DLG hopes to overcome through negotiations with Aberdeen City Council and the clever use of design, creating an improved entrance and visual identity for the centre which will make its presence felt on the street and become synonymous with the high quality retailing within.

The Academy

Former Caleys Store, Windsor Within 100 yards of Windsor Castle stands Caley’s, formerly an idependant department store it was purchased in 1919 by Gordon Selfridge but retained its name and Royal associations. In 1940 the store passed to John Lewis when the the Selfridge family sold the Selfridge Provincial Stores group to the John Lewis Partnership. The Grade II listed collection of buildings, within the conservation area totals 56,000 sq ft over 4 floors, and has over 20 different floor levels within. It is this last fact that played a significant part in John Lewis’s decision to close the doors on its Windsor store and seek out new premises. DLG’s client, Highpoint Estates, renowned for their acquisition and transformation of difficult sites completed the purchase of the Caley’s site in August and DLG has been working up a range of proposals to suit market demand. It is anticipated that the ground and basement floors will be divided into retail units, and proposals for the upper levels include the introduction of a 140 bedroom hotel and ten apartments. The final configuration has yet to be agreed, with the client in discussions with a number of potential occupiers, however DLG anticipates that a planning application will be made before the end of the year. This scheme follows a long list of refurbishments within listed buildings, undertaken by DLG and the Practice is certainly no stranger to Windsor, having worked on the award winning restoration and revitalisation of Windsor Royal Station.

Fishergate Centre, Preston Work has begun on site to complete the second stage transformation of the Fishergate entrance proposals, with new units being formed for Lunn Poly and H Sammuel.


Project News Update November 2006

Bloomsbury Square

Bloomsbury Square

DLG has achieved planning for the second of two properties on Bloomsbury Square in London, allowing works to begin on the restoration and conversion into residential apartments. Numbers 26 and 27, situated on the north side of the historic square, were previously used for offices and a hotel and owner Bedford Estates sought to transform them for residential use after the listed buildings became tired and devalued. DLG will manage the careful conversion and conservation of the existing fabric against a tight deadline. Working to maximise potential of the main rooms on the ground and first floor levels, accommodation ranging from studio flats to three bedroom apartments will be created, with many of the original features being preserved and creating focal points within each apartment.

Theatre Plaza

Theatre Plaza, Andover

Following on from the Planning Permission that DLG obtained for a mixed use development at this site in Andover last year. DLG has been commissioned by new client Manchester Properties London Commodities to produce a new scheme for the same site with a different mix of uses; 120 residential units, a 50 bed hotel and around 700m2 of retail space. After extensive negotiation with the local authority, the developer and contractor DLG are now close to starting work on a new planning application submission.

Project News in Brief... New Student Hub for University of the Arts

The London office has recently completed designs for the refurbishment of the University of the Arts London ‘Student Hub’ project at Davies Street. The proposals provide facilities for potential and current students and alumni to work, learn, socialise and exchange ideas. The scheme provides a range of 24/7 integrated student focused services in one place, with parity of access for all. Included is a new corporate reception area and student information centre along with a revamped University Gallery and new Café/Bar and Learning Zone. The Learning Zone is an innovative and flexible learning space that supports the development of study through a combination of traditional and modern library facilities.

Collinsons Atrium, Halifax - work has started on site to repair and partially replace the glazing, following a number of failures within the existing atrium. DLG has also developed proposals to address the underutilised ‘atrium space’ and has obtained listed building consent for the work, on behalf of client HBOS. Tower Ramparts, Ipswich - DLG first worked on this site in 1992 and are currently undertaking studies for client Kandaha Group. Kippax Town Centre - DLG are developing plans for client Rushbond and Leeds City Council. St Peters House, Sheffield - DLG has recently completed the refurbishment of the entrance and office interior. The Parade, Canterbury - DLG has been appointed to undertake studies to create a mix of residential, retail and leisure uses in an historic listed building. An application is anticipated later this year.

General News Update November 2006

See you there... Julian Monaghan (Snr Partner, Leeds) and Jill Rayson (Partner, London) will be attending this years BCSC Conference in Manchester (6th-8th November.) If you would like to meet up with them to discuss any of the projects featured in Perspective or talk about a project you may be contemplating, please contact Julian on +44 (0)7860 234518 or Jill on +44 (0)7802 412798.

David Bailey (Snr Architect, Leeds) and Julian Monaghan (Snr Partner, Leeds) will be attending MAPIC at Cannes, 15th – 17th November. If you have a project you would like to discuss or simply need some advice please contact Julian on +44 (0)7860 234518 or David on +44 (0)7891 989441.

Charity Construction Dinner 2006 In order to commemorate its 60th anniversary, the University of Leeds’ School of Civil Engineering is hosting a prestigious Charity Construction Dinner in aid of Martin House Children’s Hospice. Held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds on Friday 3 November, the occasion is being organised by Arup, in association with DLG. The evening aims to bring together professionals from the construction industry and provide an opportunity to network in a social environment, whilst raising money for the Yorkshire based charity, Martin House Children’s Hospice. Karen Walters, Marketing Manager at Arup, is delighted with the level of response, “The event has received unprecedented interest from the local construction industry and promises to be a spectacular fundraising event.”

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New Appointment Award winning architect James Bryson has joined the London office of DLG Architects. James, who received outstanding praise from judges of the RIBA Award for Architecture in 1999 for his work on Fife Christian Counselling Centre, approached DLG because he wanted to be a part of its people centric culture. James assumes responsibility for delivering some of the firms’ key projects that include Canonbury Community Baptist Church in Islington and assisting with the town centre redesign for Hornchurch in Essex. He comments, “My experience and interests are focused on social inclusion and I am interested in the people approach to architecture at DLG.” James was previously senior architect for HTA Architects in London before leaving to establish Grace Architects Limited where he worked on various church social projects in London, Edinburgh, Fife and Cumbria. His vast experience that spans three decades is derived from a specialism in public sector and community focused projects. In addition to praise received from RIBA, he has also received an award from the Kingston Society for his work in delivering a learning centre and heroin detox unit within a Baptist church. Jill Rayson, Partner at the London office for DLG Architects comments, “We are delighted to welcome James to the team. His experience fits perfectly with the culture at DLG which is focused around our commitment to take on a diverse and challenging range of projects that add value to the built environment.”

Best Architect 2006

DLG Architects Perspective 23  

DLG Architects newsletter 23: The news and views of DLG Architects. The Latest Project Updates New Appointment at DLG Best Architect 2006 Th...

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