Property Week challenged several UK architectural practices to reimagine a redundant, 80,000-sq.-ft department store building as a vibrant, mixed-use destination.
The thesis? Department stores were originally grand emporiums, designed to showcase brands and products never before seen. But the internet has forever changed how people access items, and in turn, the department store must evolve. The new department store will be a civic hub, anchored around experiences supporting an evolving ecology of independent traders and startups.
Excerpted from Property Week:
HOK’s future for the department store reconfigures the space around a central atrium, which creates a breathtaking arrival experience and connects all levels of the building.
This central space would be the heart of the neighborhood and support a mix of programming, including live entertainment, concerts, exhibitions and education. The space is permeable, drawing people in from the street, and the design preserves internal sightlines, allowing people to engage with the central programming as they move through the building levels.
Around this central space, we imagine a number of adaptable spaces where owners and operators can curate a mix of uses that respond to local community needs.