The Liberty, Romford

£12.5 million extension and modernisation of a 1960s mall, located within the centre of a London community and conservation area.

  • Client: Cosgrave
  • 80,000 sq ft extension to existing centre
  • Dynamic architectural and interior designs
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In order to maintain The Liberty’s position at the heart of this London community, Cosgrave required the 1960s centre to be extended by 80,000 sq ft, following its refurbishment in 2001.

Leslie Jones Architecture was commissioned to design a scheme that would enclose the Swan Walk, a pedestrian street in Romford that runs between the town’s historic Market Place and The Liberty Shopping Centre, thereby drawing existing and surrounding tenants into a landmark cohesive design.

Keeping retailer requirements front of mind, Leslie Jones provided strategic oversight to the £12.5 million redevelopment plans ensuring retail units fronting Swan Walk, including Debenhams to the east and a former Littlewoods store and kiosks to the west were effortlessly incorporated into the designs.

The scheme also needed to remain sensitive to the surrounding conservation area. Leslie Jones took a hands-on approach, applying decades of regeneration experience to the local context. The team consulted closely with English Heritage and the local authority on all aspects of the design, from the urban plan to details of the elevations and material choices, to ensure a smooth planning process.

The result was a dynamic design to lift the architecture of the area, while complementing the existing cityscape. Swan Walk will be a modern enclosed, two-storey space fronted by newly configured, double-height shop units that will attract aspirational brands to Romford. The space will be defined by its light and bright interior while the existing Debenhams frontage will be reworked to maximise visibility for this major tenant.