ofA mixed use development in North Wales’ largest town, Wrexham, has provided a dramatic boost for the city. Opening at the end of October the 400,000 sq ft Eagles Meadow Centre has propelled the town from 187th to 80th on the list of top retail destinations increasing its retail by 25% in area.
The development is retail-led but also includes leisure, residential and restaurants. Architects, Engle, won the competition in May 2004 and rather than offering a retail park, as their rivals did, proposed an extension of the town’s main shopping street.
Engle took advantage of the site being six metres below the street level by including two levels of parking and thus elevating the pedestrian street to the High Street level.
Dynamic intersecting blocks were created to break up the mass of the development and local materials including rustic Welsh slate walling and riven slate panels used in the construction.
St Giles Church is the major landmark in the town and formed the focus of the main axis of the development. Views of the church are now framed by the residential blocks. A new pedestrian footbridge links the town centre with Eagles Meadow and the suspension structure’s 24m spike is a gateway signal to the development.
A spectacular water feature cascades down from the central mall featuring fountains as a source and tiers of slate waterfalls flanked by pedestrian steps.