See mock up designs for revamp of Debenhams in Gloucester

see mock up designs for revamp of debenhams in gloucester - See mock up designs for revamp of Debenhams in Gloucester
see mock up designs for revamp of debenhams in gloucester 1 - See mock up designs for revamp of Debenhams in Gloucester

Gloucester’s historic Debenhams store’s future has been redesigned as flats and offices under “exciting” concepts drawn up by architects, writes Leigh Boobyer.

Quattro Design Architects has drawn up potential redevelopment proposals of the Northgate Street department store, which has laid empty since the high street chain was forced to shut its doors in a nationwide closure.  

The Quays-based firm, which is involved in the designs of the neighbouring £107million King’s Quarter redevelopment, brought forward two concepts that will “mark the time for the next chapter of this landmark building’s life”.

The store’s future has remained uncertain since online fashion retailer Boohoo Group bought out Debenhams, although it has been reported that the building has been sold.

One idea, called “Live-Share-Flourish”, would focus on flats available for anyone ranging from first-time buyers to retirees, as well as creating space for cafes and bars and “generating a start-up culture”.

The other concept, called “Dance-Create-Print”, highlights a “need for an arts building” in the city and would “provide co-working or pop-up studios for budding designers, creators and entrepreneurs”.

Quattro Design Architects said these are “simply concepts”, adding that “the building sits very much at the heart of our community”.

‘It is so important these cherished buildings are retained’

Robert Walder, director of commercial architecture at Quattro Design Architects, said: “We were exploring concepts of mixed-use development where we could take under-used city centre landmark buildings and revive their purpose as a special destination.

“It is so important these cherished buildings are retained – they form part of a city centre’s heritage and this should be safeguarded.”

Nigel Eckershall, senior development manager at Quattro Design Architects, said: “The buildings are ideally placed for a mixed-use development.

“The upper floors can offer a mix of residential schemes, including co-living schemes, which will help bring in young professionals to help kickstart the cities post-covid, with the lower floors offering a mixed-use commercial element where ‘We-Work’ or ‘Work-Bay’ type flexible offices merge seamlessly with coffee shops and retail to create a hub of activity in these lower floors.

“Also, the flexibility of a retail and commercial mix on the lower floors will provide space for start-ups and small to medium enterprises to prosper in city centre locations.

“The offshoot of this is the creation of a new sustainable model for city development, where buildings can come back to life, and the resulting footfall from an active 24-hour city can help revive retail precincts, reduce crime and moreover, help reduce the need for cars.”

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