Developing design for John Lewis building in Portsmouth’s Northern Quarter development
Following the initial presentation of the proposed design for the new John Lewis store in Portsmouth city centre last October, developer, Centros Miller, and its architects have refined the working design of the standalone department store building in response to discussions with local groups and John Lewis Partnership.
The design development has enhanced the building’s active frontages by introducing more glazing, and instead of the patterned brickwork previously proposed for the curved ‘sails’, it is now proposed to finish the ‘sails’ with a textured and coloured stainless cladding which has a delicate iridescent quality. Openings have also been introduced into the ‘sails’ in a horizontal pattern of windows and opaque, glazed ‘slices’ to give greater animation and transparency to the elevations.
The coloured metal cladding has been carried through onto the mullion caps over the glazed entrances and onto new louvered sunscreens over the southern entrance looking down Commercial Road. In addition, the upper level plant screen – set back from the brick and rubblestone base along both the Lake Road South and North elevations – will now be clad with the coloured stainless steel. Also on the Lake Road South elevation, more variation has been introduced into the rubblestone plinth by the introduction of glass blocks on both sides of the customer collection entrance and exit.
The revised plans for the John Lewis building – the first building in the £350 million Northern Quarter development to be designed in detail – were submitted to Portsmouth City Council just before Christmas. The application is the first of a number of ‘Reserved Matters’ applications dealing with the detailed design of the buildings following the granting of outline planning consent for the whole scheme last year. The anticipated completion of the development is autumn 2010.