Waitrose’s new flagship store in Chester knits together a busy arterial route with the old industrial canal district and new Central Business Quarter beyond. Blending seamlessly into its urban context, the scheme features bronze metal cladding elements and a striking bronze colonnade. The simple design language breaks down the big-box typology while giving the building a sense of civic presence. Comprising 2,756m² net sales store area, 432m² of additional retail space as well as new public realm and a pedestrian footbridge, the scheme marks the first stage of development for the city’s new Central Business Quarter.
The Southern façade is open and integrated at street level, creating new street-facing retail spaces. The building alignment and public realm have been designed to enhance views of the Grade II listed Shot Tower and former lead works, both providing the area with a new urban purpose and also drawing pedestrians through the site. The palette of glass and bronze was chosen to complement these industrial surroundings. The red of the bronze matches the red brick buildings, while the expressed structure is both light and elegant, and industrial in character.
RIBA Northwest Awards 2015 (shortlisted)
WAN Metal in Architecture Awards 2016 (highly recommended)
Client: John Lewis Partnership
Location: Chester, UK
Skills: Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Masterplanning, Urban Design