Projects / Primark, Birmingham
The opening of Primark’s flagship at No 38 High Street, the retailer’s largest development in the UK to date, provides an enhanced customer experience across 160,000 sqft of retail space.
Primark commissioned 3DReid to develop proposals to transform the former Pavilions shopping centre into a retail flagship. Productive dialogue with the Planning authority identified the opportunity to re-shape the inward-facing centre to create a landmark development which re-activates once dead frontages, re-vitalises the High Street by connecting it to a new retail circuit alongside the Bullring and Grand Central and delivers a new pedestrian route through the block, linking High Street and Moor Street, in the tradition of the many Victorian arcades that cross Birmingham City Centre.
In addition to the new façade and active frontage facing High Street, Primark agreed to incorporate additional works to transform the Moor Street façade, seen as a gateway to the retail core when approaching from Curzon Street and Eastside. Beneath the shared service road, a new store entrance flanked by concessions and display windows provides an active edge to a future ‘Station Square’ envisaged as part of the Curzon Street / HS2 Masterplan.
The building is over-clad with illuminated mesh facades, and while the proposal provides a distinctive and coherent identity, the High Street façade forms part of an historic streetscape where the elevation is broken down into a sequence of facets giving oblique views along the street, while the geometry of the Moor Street façade responds to long-range vistas. Illuminated ETFE panels above entrances, and two full-height atria, highlight the route through the store, while upper-level retail sales areas on either side are linked by bridges.
3DReid’s planning application illustrated future improvements to the existing pedestrian route from Station Square to the Rotunda which has since been adopted by the city as part of a programme of improvements to connectivity that will be implemented in conjunction with the arrival of HS2.
Existing retail units occupied by H&M, Thornton’s and Three were retained as part of the proposal and continued to trade during the course of the works.
© Daniel Shearing Photography
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