Marchini Curran Associates has completed a multi-million pound extension and part renovation of Oxford’s Clarendon Centre.
The complex project started in May 2012 and was completed for Lothbury Investment Management, advisors to the Clarendon Unit Trust. The extension is contemporary in its design but successfully complements the surrounding architectural context and renowned cityscape of Oxford.
The new extension is primarily clad in Ancaster weatherbed limestone, to be sympathetic to the local limestone used in many historic buildings, for which Oxford is famous.
The scheme is a major development in the city and was designed to attract major retailers to the centre. The 40,000 square foot anchor unit was pre-let to H&M, who will be fitting out its store until February 2014, when it will join the likes of Zara, Gap and French Connection.
The extension has cleverly brought back into use previously unused existing retail space on the upper floors of the centre; to create a large, modern three-storey retail unit.
The building was designed with sustainability in mind from the outset. The internal structural frame of concrete provides thermal mass which along with high levels of insulation help to minimise both summer cooling and winter heating demands.
An extensive array of photovoltaic panels are integrated into the north-facing roof lights; this combination helps to generate electricity for the development from a renewable source as well as deliver natural light to the top floor of the development, reducing the artificial lighting load.
Ben Bowley from Marchini Curran Associates said:
“The Clarendon Centre represents prime retail space in Oxford and so this has been an exciting and important piece of work for us. As part of the project we have also regenerated the mall’s atrium which has brought it a new lease of life, making it a much lighter and brighter place to shop.
“We are confident that the changes to the centre will reinforce its position as key retail destination within Oxford and we look forward to seeing the new H&M store bustling with shoppers.”
Marchini Curran Associates is a firm of architects and interior designers which also provides master planning services to the public, private and voluntary sector. East Midlands based, they are involved in projects all over the country.
The firm was set up by Nick Marchini and Des Curran. As well as being expert master planners, they are on the Nottingham City Council’s advisory panel called Design 09 – which aims to improve the quality of urban design.