The new Lexicon Bracknell Shopping Centre - a future blueprint for revitalising town centres
With retail design agency Prosper as Lexicon's Retail Design Delivery partner, Director Linda Tait reviews this innovative new scheme ahead following its opening to explain its success and significance for the future of retail.
By: Made by Prosper
Bracknell town centre was an ugly mass of Brutalist concrete from its 1950s origins as one of first post-war New Towns, built to house 25,000 residents.
While Bracknell's catchment area soared, its commercial centre declined, lacking appeal to attract shoppers from the affluent surrounding areas.
To address this, the Bracknell Regeneration Partnership was formed and proposed a radical remodelling of the whole town. The first phase delivered a new Waitrose supermarket in 2011.
Knitting old with new
Much of the existing centre was demolished though some historical buildings were upgraded to knit cohesively into the new scheme.
The Bull Pub - a listed 14th century local landmark - has been restored to form the centrepiece of a new town square. The original high street also remains but with upgraded retail facias to fit Lexicon's new theme.
Creating character and cohesion
The Lexicon's layout forms a basic figure of 8 with key avenues, each having their own character, varying in colour and cladding style, a deliberate design feature to echo the character of a traditional high street.
Shared town assets such as lighting, green space and meeting areas - now largely under single ownership - also aid coherence and enhance the scheme.
Integrated yet individual
The individual units all feature highly glazed contemporary facades for coherence, yet still allow brands to express their individuality. Nando's restaurant has layers of fretwork and greenery customise its facade and add brand personality.
This was an integral part of Prosper's role delivering the Retail Design. Acting as ambassadors for the Lexicon, Prosper helped retailers to harmonise with the scheme while also delivering to their fullest potential. By enablling good relationships between tenants and landlords, we ensured all parties had a good experience.
A lighter, greener feel
The concept of 'bringing the forest to Bracknell' incorporates Europe's largest green wall.Lighting solutions throughout add interest and ambience in the evening.
A blueprint for future town centres
Lexicon Bracknell is an exemplar scheme and will prove significant in inspiring future ideas on revitalizing other town centres in a desolate state.
It goes well beyond retail, providing a cohesive solution to breathe new life into tired towns."
Prosper's Retail Design Delivery service helps landlords optimise their retail assets. Find out more from www.madebyprosper.com
Clare Montgomery - Made by Prosper