intu Watford

Leslie Jones Architecture was appointed by intu to integrate Charter Place with the existing intu Watford centre creating a new leading retail and leisure space for the town.

A central requirement of the project was to bring intu’s brand to life in the cohesive 1.4 million sq ft centre. Based on a long-standing relationship with the client, Leslie Jones was able to inject creativity into the design, while ensuring intu’s commercial requirements were met.

The resulting development features a diversity of architectural forms with gable-inspired façades and a dynamic glazed covering to the central space, which has been purposefully designed to encourage free flow of consumers between the amalgamated centres.

The centre provides Watford with a balanced and fresh retail and leisure scheme. It includes a contemporary nine-screen cinema with a 450 seat Imax theatre complemented by a vibrant new restaurant quarter. The development increases dwell time beyond traditional trading hours and looks to draw a higher footfall through the development.

The project was completed in 2018 and creates of a new homogenous focus for Watford’s retail and leisure offering where people can visit, shop and socialise.

The Moor

The Moor was traditionally one of Sheffield City Centre’s key shopping areas, but following a period of significant retail decline in the city, it has struggled.

A forward-thinking partnership between Scottish Widows Investment Property Partnership Trust (SWIPPT), now part of Aberdeen Asset Management, and Sheffield City Council (SCC) helped to unlock redevelopment, with Leslie Jones Architecture leading the masterplan to recreate and revitalise the area.

The first phase of redevelopment saw the creation of The Moor Market for Sheffield City Council, a 73,000 sq ft landmark building for the city fronted by 60,000 sq ft of retail units for Aberdeen. The position of the market resulted in a limited frontage on The Moor itself. Leslie Jones therefore designed the dramatic brass-clad arched structure incorporating a glazed entrance facade and striking internal timber structure establishing the market in the streetscape of The Moor.

Internally, Leslie Jones worked closely with management and traders at the previous dilapidated Castlegate Market to ensure the maximum area was available for the display of goods. Echoing the theatre of markets seen elsewhere across Europe, Glulam timber was used in the innovative entrance structure, while the main market roof and supporting ‘tree’ columns were arranged in diagonal grids to maximise space and draw footfall through the longest axis of the market. The market’s design is juxtaposed with the modern, rectangular design of the fronting retail units, which complement the white Portland Stone cladding of the existing buildings on The Moor.

The team is now onsite with the redevelopment of the remainder of The Moor, which will create an evening economy through the introduction of a multi-screen cinema, nine restaurant units and further retail units anchored by Primark. A high-end offer is planned to the North of The Moor, complemented with value retailers at the market end, with the overall aim of encouraging new office and residential development in the area.

The public realm has also been revitalised with 40,000 sq ft of new paving, street furniture and planting, funded by Aberdeen as part of the partnership with SCC. Stunning new kiosks are also being introduced in order to further diversify the offering on The Moor creating a lively and engaging public space.

Sympathetic to the existing urban fabric, Leslie Jones has designed a scheme to appeal to modern retailers and consumers with one of Yorkshire’s largest concentrations of small businesses sitting alongside nationwide brands to create an exciting new shopping and leisure destination. The Moor now successfully competes with out-of-town schemes to draw from a wider catchment and Sheffield has begun to regain its place as a major regional shopping destination.

intu Eldon Square

Eldon Square is the flagship development in the continuing programme to extend and upgrade Newcastle’s retail offer – one of the UK’s largest city centre shopping destinations. Leslie Jones Architecture has led on the multi million pound project, which includes a range of asset management initiatives to revitalise and extend the centre’s offering.

The Leslie Jones designed St Andrew’s Way mall brings clarity to the complex, retail-led regeneration scheme. Double-height retail units have been introduced to replace the narrow, single-storey mall of shallow units and an underperforming market. The modernised space enables tenants to successfully promote their brand to consumers, including the four-storey Debenhams anchor store.

Leslie Jones has further applied its experience in town centre regeneration to design this extension such that it is sympathetic with the conservation area and adjacent Grade I listed Grainger Market. As a result, the building compliments the city’s architectural landscape belying its 400,000 sq ft interior. Leslie Jones used creative flair in the design through the introduction of a diagrid glazed elevation for the department store, helping the scheme take its place among modern retail destinations. The existing mall has been invigorated through a strategic programme of asset management initiatives coupled with innovative designs. There is now a striking central space with new feature ceilings, accent lighting, pilasters, wall features and façade for the main anchor, John Lewis.

Grey’s Quarter, a new £25 million destination dining quarter, is now complete and further diversifies the scheme’s offering, meeting modern consumer needs. The project is one of the region’s largest retail and leisure investment programmes in the past decade providing 20 new restaurants at the heart of the city.

Southside

Leslie Jones Architecture’s project leadership over the masterplan at the 350,000 sq ft development began in 2000 and has since helped the scheme to attract major new tenants, raised rents threefold and increased annual footfall to eight million.

The evident turnaround for the scheme is demonstrated by Leslie Jones’ creation of contemporary double height high street frontage – allowing the formerly inward-looking centre to be projected externally and engage with the surrounding streets.

The interior has also been renewed with the malls now maximising both natural and feature lighting to characterise Southside’s evolving position as a leading retail destination. The dynamic design and use of materials such as limestone has transformed the scheme’s reputation.

The new offer has already attracted a 36,500 sq ft Waitrose food store, a 14-screen Cineworld cinema, a 42,500 sq ft Virgin Active health club and a new 81,000 sq ft anchor store for Debenhams. This mix of retail, catering and leisure, allied with the new outward facing architecture and interior design, has repositioned Southside and created a new sense of place and focal point for the local population.

intu Victoria Centre

intu required Leslie Jones Architecture to undertake a comprehensive review of the intu Victoria Centre in Nottingham in order to rationalise space and update the scheme. Applying the team’s extensive commercial knowledge and design skills in dealing with existing assets, Leslie Jones developed a comprehensive refurbishment programme alongside the extension plans for the scheme.

The interior of the centre has been modernised and refreshed, reinventing the previously cluttered and claustrophobic feel of the scheme. The design introduces a lighter palate and dynamic ceiling to freshen the interior, while timber column cladding and a creative lighting system provide interest in the design and a feeling of warmth.

Leslie Jones’ masterplan includes revitalisation of the two main entrances, effectively over-cladding the 1970’s brutalist architecture with a mix of Danpalon cladding and anodised aluminium features. Externally, improvements to the public realm around the clock tower include the introduction of alfresco dining. The refurbishment project is now complete and the area is open and successfully trading.

A significant expansion of the centre to the North is also planned. This is within the old railway cutting, currently occupied by a multi-storey car park. The extension will bring a new anchor to the scheme along with a significant uplift in the retail provision. Innovative use of materials, such as Faience and Sandstone in the façades, reference the local vernacular whilst a rich variety in scale and form effectively split the extension into three building types.

Leslie Jones’ expertise in the sensitive modernisation of existing schemes will ensure intu’s Victoria Centre remains commercially competitive within the retail landscape of Nottingham, extending trading hours through the enhanced catering offer and attracting new tenants.

Centrale

Leslie Jones Architecture was appointed by Hammerson to help realise their retail vision for Croydon. The project focused on reconfiguring the retail space of Centrale Shopping Centre to create a family-friendly leisure quarter that will extend Croydon’s retail offer.

Created over a 30-year period, the 82,000 sq ft shopping and leisure complex was laid out on a complex urban site with 7.5 metre changes in level across the development and conservation areas to three sides. It included two department stores, three floors of retail units, a food court and bingo hall – all in need of revitalisation.

Leslie Jones applied its extensive retail and leisure expertise to carry out a detailed analysis of the centre. A transformational design was developed focusing on the rationalisation of space in the centre and diversification of the offering by introducing improved catering and a new 11-screen cinema.

A striking design was created for the cinema to ensure it acted as a catalyst for wider regeneration of the scheme. Located to the rear of Centrale, the cinema design was wrapped in a dynamic new façade that makes use of the depth and typography of the site. The catering was planned to align with the cinema in order to draw customers to the foyer, while revitalised interiors were designed with new roof lights and retail space reconfigured to suit modern occupier needs.

The scheme is now part of the high profile Hammerson and Westfield joint venture and included in the wider Whitgift masterplan.