White Lion Walk Guildford, UK

Client

Redevco

Location

Guildford

Sector

Mixed Use

Value

£6.6m

White Lion Walk is an existing shopping centre in the heart of Guildford with a mall running between two streets, High Street and North Street.

It is one of three town centre shopping areas that has become increasingly quiet in recent years as retailers have moved out. Retail units line both sides of the mall at ground floor level, and previously a large retailer occupied the majority of the first floor space. Additionally, there is retail storage, offices, and plant rooms on the second floor and a shared unloading bay at basement level.

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There was an opportunity to maximise the site’s potential in the heart of Guildford by upgrading the existing centre. A decision was made to repurpose the first floor space for office use due to changing trends in the retail sector and a demand for flexible workspace for growing start-ups or established businesses seeking a prominent town centre location in this buoyant business region. Combined with the introduction of office space was the need to modernise the building as a whole.

 

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The refurbishment of the shopping centre has included the creation of new façade elevations to North Street and High Street.

Shopfronts have been replaced to unified design, and include internal tenant signage to improve the customer experience. Internal alterations included the removal of the central lifts and escalators and infilling of a void at first floor level in the atrium at the High Street end of the mall. New flooring and ceilings have helped to revitalise the shopping centre, together with general redecoration. The large areas of rooflights and glazed areas have been optimised bringing sunlight into the Atrium, providing an energy efficient building and reducing the carbon footprint removing the use of fossil fuels.

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With lower demand for retail space we have repurposed the first floor retail to create a new office location in the middle of the town centre. The office space is to be known as White Lion House, and part of the ground floor is to be used as an entrance directly from North Street to the office space, including a new lift and stair. Refurbishment of part of the second floor will provide additional space for the office facility, as well as a cycle storage room and showers.

The new glazing around the central atrium and the North Street atrium provides a visual link between the shopping mall and the office space, integrating the two uses, and helping to create a new destination for Guildford.

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