Redevelopment of Harrison Gibson department store to include hotel and restaurant
Agenda 21 Architects has secured planning permission in Ilford Town Centre, Redbridge, for the redevelopment of the local landmark known as Harrison Gibson department store. Originally built in 1959, it was designed by Forrest and Barber Architects as a purpose-built 25,000sq m windowless store over 10 floors.
The concrete structure has suffered severe dilapidation over the years and the store shut down four years ago having fallen victim to the changing patterns of retailing household goods and furniture. Located at the Town Hall end of the pedestrianised High Street, it has stood empty since covered with external safety netting, an anomaly in an otherwise well groomed High Street.
The brief from the new owners is to retain the retail offer at street level and redevelop the upper floors with a mix of hotel, serviced apartments, restaurant and multi-purpose venue at the top.
The structure is stripped of its concrete cladding and remodelled as part of an exercise of urban reintegration, allowing the opportunity of introducing daylight into the heart of the deep-plan building.
The design opens up the box and offers a new dialogue with the urban realm. The main facades are clad in mineral panels and the upper volume over the panoramic restaurant terrace is clad as a golden box, which will be visible from miles around and accommodates a 1,000-capacity venue for parties and conferences.
The £25 million project is due to start on site early in 2013.