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The views of DLG Architects



Inside: The Latest Project Updates Willow Place Corby Opens

Retail News Update November 2007

Corby Transformation


Feature Article November 2007

Eye to the Future There are multiple potential drivers behind the decision to refurbish, from simply refreshing and upgrading an ageing look, to defensive reasons when a new development arrives nearby. Whatever the driver, a refurb is generally about meeting contemporary retailing requirements (such as floor space and configuration) and modern fashions in terms of design and appearance, particularly given the latest research which shows that ‘experience’ is all important to shoppers. A refurbishment should be seen as an opportunity to boost the shopping centre’s sustainability credentials, including improving energy efficiency and the carbon footprint. A much ‘deeper’ approach to refurbishment projects needs to be taken if such value added benefits are to be gained. DLG advocates that no decisions should be taken in an upgrade project without first undertaking a full sustainability audit. This should focus not just on energy efficiency, but on social and economic sustainability.

Willow Place, Corby A few years ago the centre of Corby’s retail offer was in a sorry state with vacant shops set in a stark sixties architecture. Yet today the town centre has been changed beyond all recognition with the opening of the new Willow Place which after just 2 years has risen from the dust of the demolition ball. The centre was officially opened by the Mayor of Corby on the 26th October 2007 with further public celebrations over the weekend. DLG originally worked with Tops Estates developing the initial concept proposal but when the centre was bought by Land Securities 2 years ago we were appointed along with HBG Construction to bring the proposals to fruition. The new line up of retailers provides a much improved fashion offer with River Island, TK Maxx, Burton, Dorothy Perkins and Evans all represented along with Jane Norman, New Look and mkone. Other retailers include WH Smith, The Body Shop, Superdrug, Game and JD Sports. Mark Rymell, Land Securities Development Manager, stated “Willow Place has enabled us to deliver a high quality scheme more appropriate to modern retailing and customer demands”. The centre has already picked up its first award, having scooped the top award in the environment category at the Pride of Northamptonshire Awards citing its strong green credentials.

DLG’s director in charge Martin Cranage states “It’s been a significantly rewarding project for all concerned, not least to be a part of a radical transformation at the heart of the town centre”.


All too often measures to reduce the carbon footprint are included in a refurb brief, but are then given little further attention beyond complying with Building Regulations Part L (in itself limited in that it only measures energy ‘in use’, and does not reflect aspects such as embodied energy, transport energy and so on).

not be so given different weather conditions ten years hence, whereas using ground source energy can allow heating or cooling to be provided as required. Importantly, design changes introduced in a refurb project should be with an eye to sustainability in the broadest sense. It’s important, for instance, to ensure maximum flexibility and adaptability for economic sustainability, so that tenant changes, can be accommodated with only minor adjustments and disruption, and minimal waste. Fabric and structure should always be designed for both disassembly and recyclability. Future landfill costs will inevitably be high, so minimising waste is key to making any future alterations viable. Strong preference should also be given to materials that can be locally manufactured and maintained. To sum up, investment in a full audit at the outset will guide and inform all your development decisionse and ensure that the refurbishment achieves the best possible returns.

However, in the right hands, a refurb can present opportunities to improve energy efficiency significantly by looking beyond the obvious. This in turn means savings that can be passed on to tenants in reduced service charges. Being seen to be green is attractive to the growing band of retailers keen to promote their green credentials and can also add value to the shopping centre owner/developer’s own corporate image. However, improvements undertaken without a proper audit in advance can turn out to be a mistake. For example maximising the use of natural light in a centre may be achieved with greater use of glass, but this can cause excessive heat gain, which then requires higher energy consumption in air conditioning, or (if the aircon system is removed as part of ‘green’ development) shading, which could mean a greater need for lighting. Crucially, any changes must be made with a long-term view in mind, and flexibility built in. Whilst removing air conditioning, for instance, may appear to be a sustainable solution today, it may

To discuss retail solutions further contact: Julian Monaghan ( Leeds) 0113 3946 900 Jill Rayson (London) 020 7426 3630 Or see them at BCSC 2007.


Retail News Update November 2007

General News Update November 2007

Heart of Buxton

The Fruit Market Hull

Public consultation has now begun for this important mixed use development in the heart of Buxton. The scheme includes a 32,000 sq ft net Sainsbury’s store which will have two levels of car parking below it. An important requirement of the scheme was to maintain High Peak District Council’s existing pay and display car parking numbers whilst providing additional spaces for Sainsbury’s. This has been achieved through the introduction of a 400 space Multistorey car park over 4/5 levels. Being a utilitarian structure this has been masked by buildings wherever feasible. Along Station Road it is bordered by an 82 bed single aspect hotel for Premier travel Inn. Its form takes cues from locally distinctive buildings and follows the curve of Station Road in the form of a crescent shape.

The Fruit Market has been described as the ‘Jewel’ in the regeneration plans for Hull. The deep layering of history combined with the presence of water on three sides of the site combine to make the comprehensive regeneration of the Fruit Market a once in a lifetime development opportunity.

The ground floor includes a restaurant adding much needed vitality to the Wye Street / Station Road roundabout which acts as an important entrance gateway to central Buxton. The MSCP elevation opposite to Station Road includes a cluster of new 2 storey retail units which also create a new public square. The square will undoubtedly be a big improvement on the existing public realm and also acts as a strong visual link with the existing shopping centre entrance and Spring Gardens, the towns main retail thoroughfare.

The Ridings, Wakefield Works are due to start in the New Year to provide new retail units and improve the food and beverage offer within the well known Ridings Shopping Centre in Wakefield. Works are proposed at the prominent circulation hubs within the centre, which will include the provision of two new feature lifts to satisfy the demands of increased footfall. Planning permission has also been granted for improvements to each of the entrances to the centre including a curved glass atrium close to Wakefield’s historic cathedral and conservation area. In addition DLG have submitted a planning application for a 110,000 sq ft 3 storey retail extension to the centre to provide much larger units to those currently available. A 3 storey 15,000 sq ft office building is also to be provided for the local Wakefield Press as part of the site development.

Working with mixed use developer Reland (part of the Gladedale group) on the national design competition, DLG’s proposals looked to retain the existing building stock, the historic medieval routes whilst infilling with new contemporary ‘European flavour’ buildings.

To the west of the scheme we looked back in history and created a new gateway building on the site of a historic city gateway, a glowing tribute to the area’s former ropery industries. Whilst in the centre of the scheme a new public space on the site of the old theatre will create a new venue for the arts, creative industries and housing around the last remaining ‘smoke house’. DLG’s competition entry not only made the front page of the Hull Daily Mail and the national press but was also displayed in the Hull City Hall. A decision is expected in December.

Hempstead Valley The success of Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre continues and DLG are pleased to be involved in a further phase of improvements to the centre. Current proposals are in working drawings stage and involve the construction of an additional 22,000sq ft of retail space which will provide two of the centre’s largest fashion units and a new entrance to anchor an existing mall. The design will be in dramatic contrast to the existing single storey mall and will provide opportunities to reinforce the centre’s branding and display key tenant names on the prime frontage of the complex. The entrance itself will be marked by a tower set against the new glass cube roof. Working across a centre entrance brings with it specific logistical and health and safety challenges, and the long opening hours of the Sainsbury store at Hempstead limit out of hours working to a minimum at this centre. The two stage tender process adopted to implement this project will allow all such issues to be resolved with the centre management team well ahead of the commencement of works on site, which is planned for the new year.

France Ahead The plans for this new 30,000m2 Boutique Outlet Centre near Toulouse France were given the go ahead in September. With the Permis de Construire and CDEC consents now in place we are moving forward through to the detail design stages with an expected start on site in 2008. The centre will create a bench mark for future outlet centres by meeting new environmental and sustainability targets so rarely seen in retail building.

General News Update November 2007

Octagon, Bath Works are continuing at the Grade 1 listed Octagon site. The breakthrough into the adjoining Shires Yard shopping centre is now complete and at last the new vistas through this complexity of listed buildings are starting to take shape. Although the chapel and much of the site remained shrouded in scaffold this has not deterred the Naked Chef and Jamie Oliver has announced the first of his new ‘Local Italian’ restaurants will open in the rebranded Milsom Place scheme. The restaurant will operate over several levels which have been linked by the DLG interventions to provide views across the rooftops from informal terraces as well as more formal dining

Royal London hope that this reconfiguration to the centre will drive an increase in demand for the existing retail space.

rooms overlooking the grand Milsom Street.


Tower Ramparts DLG are pleased to continue their involvement with Tower Ramparts in Ipswich. The Kandahar Group have appointed the practice to produce studies for remodelling the centre. Proposed internal alterations include relocation of lifts and escalators to improve visibility and pedestrian flow. New, stronger entrances will give better opportunities for anchor tenant signage and reinforce the fashion content of the scheme. Using DLGs sophisticated 3d CAD model at an early stage enabled us to work with the client and tenants to investigate the visibility of units and to establish the cost effectiveness of possible structural

St Helens Shopping Centre ING have appointed DLG to prepare proposals for updating the existing Church Square shopping centre in St Helens. Options are currently being developed within an overall masterplan for the centre which uniquely includes the existing St Helens Parish Church within the centre of the town. Ideas for improving the retail offer within the town are being developed along with proposals to better integrate aspects of the church into the town centre.

Academy, Aberdeen Practical completion has been granted for an enlarged retail shell for fashion retailer Attic. Tenant fit out has now begun with many of the elements prefabricated with the intention of opening for pre Christmas trading in November. At about the same time a new mall entrance identified by two glass canopies on Belmont Street will also be open.

The Academy

We’re in the Final Yes we’ve made it to the final of the national RICS Awards for building conservation with the Practices’ imaginative conversation of the former St James’ Church in Edgbaston into 12 new duplex apartments over 4 levels. This project has won several other awards and is only a small part of the Practices’ considerable conservation portfolio. Contact Professor Tony Walker for further details:

London Office 11-29 Fashion Street London E1 6PZ

Leeds Office Marshall Mill, Marshall Street Leeds LS11 9YJ

t +44 (0)20 7426 3630 f +44 (0)20 7426 3631

t +44 (0)113 394 6900 f +44 (0)113 394 6901

Tower Ramparts

Award Winner 2007

DLG Architects Perspective 25  

DLG Architects newsletter 25: The news and views of DLG Architects. Inside: The Latest Project Updates Willow Place Corby Opens