Benoy architect's retail design completes generating 'befitting epitaph'
More than 100,000 sq m of brand new retail space was revealed as the Benoy designed extension to St David’s shopping centre, Cardiff opened its doors on October 22nd. The development has rejuvenated the existing St David's arcade and created a new landmark retail centre, in the heart of Wales’ Capital City. More than one million shoppers visited the centre in its first week of trading.
Benoy's addition to the combined 140 000 sq m centre, which houses the largest John Lewis department store outside of London, seamlessly blends into the urban fabric, sympathetically taking account of Cardiff’s geography and history and working with the existing contours and architectural heritage of the City. The result is a modern adaptation of Cardiff’s Victorian arcades. The project has attracted many iconic brands and leading retailers including Apple, Hugo Boss, Radley, LK Bennett, Crabtree & Evelyn and Kurt Geiger; all of whom have opened stores in Wales for the first time.
St David’s design highlights include the new tulip tree area - the ‘atrium’ - which features a circular double height space with glazed roof and incorporates public artworks in the form of sculptural panels in the circular bulkhead and patterning in the floor in various stone finishes.
The £675m mixed use development includes more than 300 residential units, the environmentally leading civic library, which has been awarded Project of the Year in Sustainability by Constructing Excellence and £20m of improvements to the public realm.
St David’s provides a befitting epitaph for James Utting - design director for Benoy on this and numerous other projects including the Bullring in Birmingham - James sadly passed away earlier this year. His passion for combining excellent design with the practicalities and needs of the modern, urban environment shine through in Cardiff. The Benoy Team has realised his designs in what is a grand statement for a great city and a tribute to a well respected, much loved and truly talented individual. Benoy is to publish ‘the arcade - an environment synonymous with retail’. The book will include much of James' research and sketches.
Graham Izzard, Director of Benoy said: “St David’s is a classic example of Benoy’s ability to inject new life into the urban environment. Whether it is here in Cardiff; the Bullring in Birmingham or ION Orchard, Singapore, we have provided benchmark examples of how retail can enhance a city or district and become a catalyst for economic growth”.