Former Co-operative Store Coventry, UK
The former Co-Operative department store is known and loved by the local population, having proudly served Coventry for over half a century.
Locally listed as one of the major buildings of Coventry city centre’s post-war Blitz bombing reconstruction, it continues to be an integral part of the city’s fabric – and remains a cultural and navigational beacon for the local community. The Co-Operative store closed its doors in October 2015 leaving the 4-storey building vacant and in need of saving.
The ambitious brief requested the retention and celebration of the original building and its features – while delivering a completely unique residential offering.
A radical idea was formulated…
“It will be something very different for Coventry and will take city centre living to a new level. A park will be a unique feature for the exclusive use of residents, which will give those people access to a tranquil green space in the heart of the bustling city.”
Neil Edgington, EDG Properties
The 1950s character of the building was preserved – and the requirements of the new embraced.
The distinctive, uniform style of post-war Coventry is still evident. We retained many elements of the original façade colonnade, which features artwork by John Skelton, window design and the iconic Co-operative lettering.
Layers of paint applied to the Horton Stone cladding over years was stripped back to reveal the building’s original features.
Working with the existing building had its challenges as the existing structure revealed upon strip out was different to what was envisaged. However, the building’s exposed beams and columns created a unique focal point within the park space where the original structural gridline can be seen. Retaining the building’s historic identity was also challenging as the building needed upgrading to latest building regulations. Insulation was added to the existing façade alongside sympathetically designed double glazed windows enhanced the buildings thermal performance without compromising its character.
Internally, the building has been completely remodelled. The scheme is set apart from other residential offerings by the insertion of an internal resident’s park created by punching a hole through the centre of the existing deep floorplates. Cutting through the three floors to formed an atrium park space which provided natural daylight and natural ventilation removing the need for mechanical ventilation and artificial lighting during the day creating a fresh space for residents to enjoy.
The Co-operative building now provides luxury residential living throughout 63 new 1- and 2-bedroom dwellings, some with private external terraces. A private resident’s lounge and sky terrace are ‘raising the bar’ for residential developments in the area.
The immediate street frontage has been given a new lease of life, attracting locals back to the building. Restaurants and cafes occupy the commercial units under the colonnade, where the retained artwork of John Skelton is visible.
The project has reinvigorated a once popular street in Coventry with restaurants and cafes occupying the street frontage, beyond the colonnade bringing the local people back to what is an exemplar building in the city.
A residential dwelling of this nature is ambitious and unique for the area. This is demonstrated in the speed of apartment sales before and after completion and numerous industry award shortlistings and wins.
Winner of ‘Small Residential Development of the Year’
Midlands Insider Residential Property Awards 2020
Shortlisted RIBA West Midlands Awards 2019
Shortlisted RICS West Midlands Awards 2019