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Hayle Harbour Jewsons Site | Design review | CABE

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hayle Harbour Jewsons Site

Cornwall

A new Morrisons supermarket on the former Jewsons site on Carnsew Road in Hayle. Designed by Chris Waterworth Architects.

23 November 2010

Planning reference: W1/10-0413

Tagged with: Retail | Design review panel | South West

Summary

In general terms we support the proposal to redevelop this brownfield site on Hayle Harbour to provide a new medium-sized supermarket. The placement of the store in relation to the listed buildings, the approach to servicing, building form and expression all appear well considered. However, the public realm, pedestrian links, and landscape proposals do not demonstrate the same degree of thought and reduce the scheme’s potential. We would ask the design team to investigate how a more sensitive approach to surface car parking could be achieved to resolve the shortcomings in these areas. We have the confidence that the team can resolve this during the application period to secure a development worthy of this World Heritage site.

Site strategy

We think the design team makes a good case for redeveloping the Jewson’s site to provide a new medium-scaled supermarket for Morrisons. The proposed site diagram works well; it accounts for the practicalities of site servicing, the sensitivities of the adjacent listed drying sheds, and acknowledges important views across Hayle Harbour. The placement of the store in relation to the listed buildings is well judged, framing a well proportioned space. We also support the use of the listed drying sheds for covered car parking.

Building form and expression

The approach to the Morrisons building reveals a clarity of thought and judgement that is often lacking in supermarket design. The proposal is specific to its brief and its highly sensitive context. We welcome the modern interpretation of traditional built form found in Hayle, evoking the local vernacular, without resorting to pastiche. Its strong horizontal proportions work especially well in the views studies provided. The close attention to detail in the choice and articulation of materials is also well handled. Ultimately, the success of this building will be dependent on the quality of materials and detailing, which should be conditioned appropriately by the local authority.

We think there is scope to increase daylight penetration into the sales floor through the use of rooflights where they are not visible in key views of the building.

Public realm and landscape

In our view, the scheme needs to work harder to integrate pedestrian connections, car parking and landscape with the built form. As proposed, surface car parking takes precedence. Pedestrian routes linking the store to South Quay, the railway station and the town centre - in particular, those footpaths leading off the new roundabout and the possible bridge link to the east - are too narrow and uninviting. On the whole, soft landscape is restricted to left-over spaces around the perimeter of the development and its function is ill-defined. Rather than considering the car park as public space to serve additional functions, such as outdoor markets, and allowing for the proper interpretation of the site’s industrial past, it comes across as a standard solution that gives priority to the car. To resolve these shortcomings the team should consider:

  • how a stronger link between the public realm and the buildings might be secured;
  • how paving materials and landscape could be more imaginatively used to reveal the heritage features below ground; and
  • how a more inviting environment can be secured for the pedestrian that makes more of the relationship between the site and areas like South Quay.

These elements of the proposals are fundamental to the success of the scheme as a whole and should be resolved to the local authority’s satisfaction during the application period.

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