PROJECTS / Housing
We have been working with renowned regeneration specialist First Base to reimagine Swindon town centre. The project is being developed in collaboration with the borough council, site freeholder and leaseholders, and illustrates the opportunities that exist for the declining high street.
Working with the existing circa 200,000 sqft building, our approach of selective demolition, adaptation and extension brings a dynamic new mix of uses to the site. The design includes the conversion of the Debenhams store into a training, conferencing and innovation centre. Former office accommodation located above, which has been vacant for many years, is converted to provide new homes. The roof top parking deck is transformed into a public playground and the linked parking structure is demolished to make way for a new 70,000 sqft Grade A office building.
The current department store provides a great base structure, with tall volumes on a 10m by 12m open concrete frame. The reimagination of the building is achieved through renewal of the external facade to provide a more attractive face to the public realm. Aside from the changes to the building envelope, a series of interventions are made to the concrete frame to create a new entrance, a conference/lecture hall and a new light well to increase the quality of the workspaces to the west. The separate building functions are organised clearly into three sections: collaboration, education and focused work.
The conferencing facility will offer a platform for the promotion of engineering excellence, alongside a wider programme of events. The ‘shop window’ to the public realm will activate the wider area, bringing much-needed footfall and energy to Swindon Town Centre.