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Old January 19th, 2019, 02:54 PM   #1
skybluecity
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Upper Precinct | Redevelopment | U/C.

A major redevelopment of the Upper Precinct in Coventry City Centre is now underway.

Planning application: http://planning.coventry.gov.uk/port...et?PKID=798094

Scheme details (from planning application):

North Link Block
• Reconfigure the link mall (to West Orchards) making it double height with escalators, stairs and a scenic lift by relocating the current Moss Bross unit at ground floor and widening the current mall at first floor.
• Introduce new means of escape routes from the walkway at first floor.
• Reconfigure 3 units (4, 5 & 6) at ground floor to provide attractive rentable units with new shop fronts.
• New shop fronts located between the existing Blue Hornton stone pilasters will be fully glazed. The level difference will be made up within the unit, an indicative ramp location has been shown, the final installation will be by the tenant.
• Reconfigure retail units at first floor, retaining the current units of Royal Gaming and JD Sports and create a new means of escape routes from the walkway with new full height shopfronts.
• Create a new Management Suite at first floor.

South Link Block
• Introduce new means of escape stair from walkway at first floor, into the southern alleyway, with a new structurally glazed canopy supported on steel columns.

Walkways/central piazza
The application proposals where possible remove the unsympathetic elements, create larger rentable retail spaces for tenants, and improve the circulation links to the walkways and through to West Orchards, which will be achieved though:
• Removal of the Escalators and its enclosure at ground and first floors.
• Remove the eastern ramp & the western bridge link to open up the view from the Lower Precinct eastwards to Coventry Cathedral (St Michaels).
• Cutback & straighten the first floor walkways.
• Replace the balustrades and lampposts, with a design emulating the original Upper Precinct installations, whilst meeting current Building Regulations.
• Introduce new columns, aligned with the structural bays of the original scheme and link into the vertical detail of the current 1993 fascia.
• Retain, repair & decorate the current 1993 walkway fascias.

British Home Stores Building
The application proposes to subdivide the existing single occupant building into multiple units of varying sizes at ground and first floors, with new double height shop fronts introduced, allowing the building to continue as a major asset in its prime location of the Upper Precinct and Market Way.
• Sub-division of the single occupant floor space into multiple occupancies at ground & first floors, with new plant zones at roof level.
• Introduce new means of escape route at ground floor exiting onto Barracks Way.
• Upgrade of the existing core and means of escape stair accessed from Barracks Way.
• Removal of the slate edge canopies to Upper Precinct & Market Way. The removal of the canopy will require part of the elevation to be in-filled, a recessed cornice detail with a reconstituted Ham Hill stone dressing head course, with the recess & cill below lined in Westmorland slate is proposed.
• Removal of the mezzanine aligned with Market Way, excluding the current Carphone Warehouse unit.
• Upper Precinct elevation - 5 narrow windows to be reduced in height, from the cill upwards by 1 storey.
• New double height shop front (ground & first) to Upper Precinct with a Westmorland slate ‘goal post’ and deeply recessed full glazed screen, the existing voids behind the 5 narrow feature windows will be consolidated & made deeper.
• New shop fronts to Units 22 Carphone Warehouse & Unit 35. The level difference will be
made up within the unit.
• New double height shop fronts (ground, mezzanine & first) to Market Way with the existing Westmorland slate pilasters extended down to ground level to form goal posts. The level difference will be made up within the unit, an indicative ramp location has been shown the final installation will be by the tenant.
• Market Way feature window above Carphone Warehouse, lowest spandrel panel to be removed and the cill level raised. The reconstituted stone picture frame to be reinstated at the new cill level with brickwork infill between the new cill & the new cornice line.
• Amendment of the first floor entrance screen and the 2 storey travertine spandrel panel above, due to the realigned South Link Block walkway at first floor, with a new glazed entrance screen with central doors between with Westmoreland slate pilasters.

Mercia Lodge Building (Leofric Hotel)
The application proposes to increase the ground floor retail units by extending into the ground floor colonnade and install new shop fronts, reconfigure the current Top Shop store to create a large corner unit with a double height entrance from Broadgate & amend its first floor plate to incorporate part of the underutilised first floor exit lobby to the north link block walkway. The proposals to the retail elements of Mercia Lodge will allow it to continue as a major asset attractive to national retailers due to its prime location on Broadgate and Upper Precinct.

• Extension of retail space into the colonnade with the new shop fronts located 275mm behind the perimeter columns, making the active frontage of the retail space visible
• The existing Blue Horton (golden) columns which will now be inbound within the extended units will be clad with protection to ensure they are not fixed too or damaged by future retailers fitting out
• The colonnades coffered soffit with circular glass block lens will be encapsulated below and over-layed above to maintain them in situ.
• A void will be cut in the slab at first floor to the corner of Upper Precinct & Broadgate with a new wrap around window installed, accentuating the double height entrance space to unit 10 from Broadgate. The window reveals will have a picture frame in a reconstituted Clipsham stone, emulating the original Upper Precinct window treatment.
• The first floor external lobby will partially remain as the means of escape from the Mercia Lodge Student Accommodation and the current Top Shop Unit. The retained portion of the lobby will become an internal space, enclosed with a glazed screen & integrated doors. The remainder of the lobby will be incorporated into unit 10 at first floor with a new pop out display
window

Visuals

Upper Precinct by covkid2, on Flickr

Upper Precinct1 (2) by covkid2, on Flickr

Work now underway to fill in the underground toilets ahead of wider public realm works:

IMG_20190119_102235 by covkid2, on Flickr

New escalator under construction:

IMG_20190119_102246 by covkid2, on Flickr

Last edited by skybluecity; January 19th, 2019 at 07:14 PM.
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Old January 19th, 2019, 04:08 PM   #2
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The Precinct today with the much-maligned escalator:

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Old January 19th, 2019, 04:57 PM   #3
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I think the plan is splendid, very neat and good riddance to those unused bridges. I don't know about anyone else, but I don't think this part of the precinct has dated that badly.

I still think the shape is a bit odd with the blocks set back, I guess because it was originally planned as a more of a 'square'? It's almost like it's moving back towards being more like a street that was pedestrianised rather than a series of squares at different levels.
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Old January 20th, 2019, 11:25 PM   #4
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Removal of old toilets.
RJUP1 by Dr Pepper, on Flickr
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Old January 24th, 2019, 01:03 PM   #5
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So pleased this is going ahead, a lot of post war architecture is much maligned but given a bit of a spring clean it'll look really good and really unique
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Old January 27th, 2019, 11:47 PM   #6
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The upper deck is virtually abandoned, even on a Saturday and it has two very underused levels above that.

CRUP1 by Dr Pepper, on Flickr

CRUP2 by Dr Pepper, on Flickr

The old BHS.
CRUP3 by Dr Pepper, on Flickr

The current M&S.
CRUP4 by Dr Pepper, on Flickr

Current view from the fountain looking towards the cathedral spire.
CRUP5 by Dr Pepper, on Flickr

Saw this materials test section by the top of the escalator.
CRUP6 by Dr Pepper, on Flickr
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Old March 9th, 2019, 06:52 PM   #7
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New random hole outside the old BHS. Will the fountain be included in the precinct revamp?
MRUP1 by Dr Pepper, on Flickr
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Old March 9th, 2019, 06:54 PM   #8
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I notice the retailers in the link and below have all relocated.
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Old March 10th, 2019, 03:38 PM   #9
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Thanks for the pictures, Dr P.

The canopies on BHS look to be in a bit of a state, but the ones around M&S look OK.
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Old March 10th, 2019, 04:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewTroll View Post
Thanks for the pictures, Dr P.

The canopies on BHS look to be in a bit of a state, but the ones around M&S look OK.
They look very scruffy. I think it is the right decision to remove them.
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Old March 10th, 2019, 09:12 PM   #11
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I think the fountain is excluded as it is outside the red line area in the Planning Applications site and location plans. However, I think the fountain would be included within the Phase 5 public realm improvements under the Smithford Way-Market Way works:

http://democraticservices.coventry.g...0Phase%205.pdf

The link has the Smithford Way-Market Way project listed as 'unfunded', but it says the same about Coventry Point and since then there has been confirmation that demolition will start this month, although I don't know of any further funding updates on other projects. The Council did get extra LEP funding for the removal of the ramp, so I imagine the Smithford Way-Market Way scheme would be a priority after the Upper Precinct.

I think the Telegraph said that the next stages of the Upper Precinct works would be digging a few holes, which I seem to remember was something to do with enabling works to allow the larger machinery onto the site for the demolition of the escalator etc. So it might be to move or reinforce services.

I'm assuming that the new internal entrance to West Orchards will be constructed first. The only details seem to be that it will all be finished before 2021. Unlike Coventry Point I assume they would have to close/partially close the Precinct overnight to demolish the pedestrian bridges in one go. The escalator might be partially demolished if they closed the pedestrian area underneath. I don't know though.

Last edited by We-Are-Borg-1987; March 10th, 2019 at 09:24 PM.
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Old March 11th, 2019, 03:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Pepper View Post
Removal of old toilets.
RJUP1 by Dr Pepper, on Flickr
Interesting looking at this shot, I wonder if Sainsbury's or Tesco had moved into the spot where BHS is, could we have seen more footfall leading to that back entrance; perhaps as a one-way to the lower floor?

An interesting thought.
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Old March 11th, 2019, 10:26 PM   #13
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I'm surprised Royal Gaming is staying in its current location, I thought the balconies were going to be cut off and used by the student accommodation.
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Old March 11th, 2019, 11:38 PM   #14
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There is no student accommodation iirc, thought it was dropped?
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Old March 14th, 2019, 11:26 PM   #15
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I thought the upper two levels were going to be student flats.
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Old March 15th, 2019, 12:06 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewTroll View Post
I thought the upper two levels were going to be student flats.
The student accommodation was dropped when the plans were resubmitted. It's mentioned at the top of the final report:

http://planning.coventry.gov.uk/port...geName=1437619
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Old March 15th, 2019, 12:27 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skybluecity View Post
The student accommodation was dropped when the plans were resubmitted. It's mentioned at the top of the final report:

http://planning.coventry.gov.uk/port...geName=1437619
Ah, ta, I never bothered reading the re-submission.

I think those upper two floors look strange and lifeless.
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Old March 15th, 2019, 10:01 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skybluecity View Post
The student accommodation was dropped when the plans were resubmitted. It's mentioned at the top of the final report:

http://planning.coventry.gov.uk/port...geName=1437619
There is still student accommodation on top floors. The change is originally they were adding an additional floor on the north building but this was objected to and dropped.
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Old March 15th, 2019, 11:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Typhoon2000 View Post
Interesting looking at this shot, I wonder if Sainsbury's or Tesco had moved into the spot where BHS is, could we have seen more footfall leading to that back entrance; perhaps as a one-way to the lower floor?

An interesting thought.
It would take a huge crowbar to move Sainsburys from Pool Meadow as I imagine they earn alot of money per square foot. BHS would make a good TK Max, relocated from Central 6.
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Old March 16th, 2019, 12:05 AM   #20
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If it's true about Matalan for Wolverhampton city centre, maybe them for Coventry too.
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