On the 4th October 2011 EllmerTry were the recipient of the 2011 Design Award for New Buildings (Commercial) by The Norwich Society for the recently completed Marks and Spencer store in the city centre.
This redevelopment programme saw the current 78,000 sq ft of shop floor space increase to 116,000 sq ft, making this one of the largest M&S stores in the UK. The scheme designed by Benoy Architects features a 'living wall' laced with plants to help absorb local pollution and fed by a rain harvest roof system, whilst the glass corner facade maximises light into the store.
A number of existing vacant buildings were demolished to make way for the construction of the new 5 storey extension. Te modernised store includes a new cafe, 'hotfood to go' area and M&S Kitchen - a new cafe concept currently available at just four other M&S stores. The store also has a new electrical department, expanded homeware and food hall.
The store is situated within the Norwich City Centre Conservation Area, nd is subject to Conservation Area Consent as well as Planning Approval for the demolition and construction of the extension.
Marks & Spencer continued to trade as normal without closing the store. The internal fit-out works were completed over several phases, with the team working 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.
The Norwich Society:
"This is an imaginative and bold addition to the city-centre scene. It is encouraging to see a major high street retailer taking design seriously. It transforms an unpleasant jumble of elevations into a cohesive, well-scaled shape adjacent to St Stephen's Church. The flat coloured cladding pieces and strong horizontal emphasis of the short projecting aluminium panels produce a strong and colourful elevation. The fašade seems to echo the stone tracery in the church window beyond. The strong shape continues along Malthouse Street and finishes in a living wall which will add further visual interest to the total scheme."