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To design a new supermarket on a former railway siding set six metres below one of the main roads out of Manchester City Centre.
The proposal needed to take into account new Government guidelines on building major retail stores within existing sustainable town centre locations.
Integrating a 65,000 sq ft retail store within the varying site levels, and a very narrow street frontage that includes the former station buildings (which the Local Planning Authority/heritage groups were keen to maintain) was challenging.
We developed a sales floor of 35,000 sq ft accessible directly from street level and via a pair of parallel travelators from the former sidings, where the main car park was to be situated. The entrance lobby from the car park level is a particular feature of the building with a nine metre high glazed frontage leading to the sales area six metres above.
All servicing, including a 25m turning area for articulated lorries, is beneath the building, together with all the back-up and staff facilities.
A further requirement from the Planning Authority was to incorporate a route through the site for the Trans Pennine Cycle Trail.
A very large foodstore has been successfully integrated into a mature urban setting providing a contemporary counterpoint to the retained Edwardian structures. The architectural solution, together with unique signage totems and its sustainable location ensures this remains one of Sainsbury’s flagship stores.
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J Sainsbury plc