B & Q Culverhouse Cross
This new store comprises a builders’ materials yard, garden centre with greenhouse and car parking on a net floor area of approximately 99,000 sq ft. The building is predominantly a single-storey warehouse but with two-storey office pods to the rear and front of the store.
The entrance is a clad and glazed features, incorporating a glass block lantern at high level. The front face of the builders’ yard is partly constructed in brickwork with stained vertical timber boarding to the underside of the canopy. This store at Cardiff’s Culverhouse Cross Retail Park includes a 99,000 sq ft internal area as well as 35,000 sq ft of garden centre and builders’ yard, goods delivery areas and over 470 car parking spaces.
The store’s green credentials were enhanced by the decision to develop on a ‘brownfield’, largely derelict, industrial site. This challenging site included large areas of redundant building slabs, a disused and rubbish filled quarry, rocky plateaus, dramatic changes in level and contamination ‘hot spots’. All of these were successfully dealt with to create a new, layered, landscape setting for the building which included an extensive tree planting scheme both on and off site.
The building incorporates full access for disabled shoppers and staff as well as 2 storey administration and support accommodation within the impressive high frame sales area. The external elevations were carefully detailed to create an apparent scale for the building that is sympathetic to the wider environment and which defies its actual size. To assist in this effect the whole building was set at a low level in relation to the adjacent roads by cutting a new plateau level in the rock. Particular architectural emphasis was made at the entrance and exit feature where a landmark tower comprising metal clad panels, glazed screens and spots of light is highlighted by an illuminated glass block lantern.
Dense planting schemes in the sensitive areas near residences were supplemented by timber vision and acoustic screens. Elsewhere where the site adjoins the main road the boundary features brick walls incorporating decorative lighting and a tall metal skin clad fin tower. The project also included significant highways alterations and required the careful design of vehicular circulation within the site to produce an integrated traffic management solution with the least impact upon surrounding roads.