County Square, Ashford

A £45 million extension and refurbishment of an existing retail asset in an historical market town.

  • Client: ING and Catalyst Capital
  • 317,000 sq ft extension
  • Innovative architectural and interior designs
More Information

Following an upgrade in the late 1980s to create an enclosed mall, Country Square Shopping Centre in Ashford was in need of a second major redevelopment to extend the existing scheme. The client wanted a new high-quality anchor and a wider upgrade of the centre’s environment that reflected the Kent market town’s prosperity.

Leslie Jones Architecture brought the vision to life through its project leadership and enthusiastic approach. The focus was on doubling the size of the centre to 317,000 sq ft with 19 new, contemporary units. The overall design provides a welcoming, fresh environment to modernise the centre’s interior.

Leslie Jones ensured the new three-storey anchor unit for Debenhams was a focal point for the scheme by creating a curved narrative in the exterior design. This was reflected internally with sweeping lines of the crisp white interior combining natural and brightly coloured light features.

Served by a new multi-storey car park at lower-ground level, the centre has been brought up to date through Leslie Jones’ designs. These mirror the high street rather than overwhelm it by drawing on a similar colour palette to adjacent properties, while the double-height glazing at the entrance provides the scheme with an attractive frontage to the townscape. The resulting façade provides a striking modern aesthetic, which integrates the large-scale building into the local context.

Working closely with the local authority throughout the design and build process, Leslie Jones capitalised on the site’s location to enhance the wider public realm and thereby improve the scheme’s commercial success.