IKEA unveils first city centre location in Coventry
Architects have designed what could be the first city centre store for IKEA in the UK
The international leading home furnishings retailer has submitted a planning application for its proposed new store, in response to Government policy which now discourages out-of-town development in favour of regenerating city centres. The challenge is to produce a multi-storey design solution incorporating a building aesthetic appropriate to the character of the city centre, rather than to an out-of-town retail park. The chosen site is currently occupied by a Co-op superstore which will close in January 2006. The result is a 4 story retail space of 23,850 sq m – reflecting a more flexible IKEA approach – with stores built on much smaller sites, of compact design, with elevational details that respect the urban environment. The store has been designed to contribute to the architecture of the city. The building envelope features extensive glazing, making it as transparent as possible when viewed from the street, so that the store is alive and attention seeking, by day and after dark. The use of zinc cladding is integral to the building’s sustainability, and other environmental features being considered within the design include biomass heating and rainwater harvesting. Translucent cladding, in areas such as the warehouse, reduces the amount of artificial lighting required during long periods as well as creating a point of interest. The design also has to address people flow through the 4 storey building, culminating in them leaving the store with bulky purchases. Car parking on site, with immediate access to the store, is provided for 900 cars over 3 levels. This facility will be available to the general public, as well as to IKEA customers, making a significant contribution to the city centre. The importance of store location planning and location research has never been more important for retailers chasing customers in the toughest retail environment for a decade. GeoBusiness Solutions are running a one day conference called Profitable Decision Making Through Predictive Analytics which includes speakers from Tesco, and Home Depot.
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