Located on an island site on Putney High Street, this project is an exploration of how to regenerate both high street architecture and activity, with a typology of people living above new, flexible retail space. Key to the proposal is a new public square to the quieter side street which supports the vibrant uses of the high street with sociable support spaces.
The existing retail building is both dated and inefficient. Putney High Street is the most linear ‘settlements’ and its narrow, enclosed road is both a challenge for pedestrians and vehicles alike. Retail offers are typical of a British high street but there is a notable lack of larger, flexible retail units. The solution injects high quality space into the local mix to attract multi nationals needing clear floor plates with good ceiling heights. Above this is a new twist on the traditional ‘flats above shops’ arrangement whose older accommodation is not always fit for purpose in modern London.
The urban form is a perimeter development above the ground and basement retail floors. The retail accommodation fills out the entire site with deep plan space and active frontages. A high quality residential environment round an amenity courtyard above has its own entrance facing a new square and remote from the noisier high street. This new ‘residential address’ and is complimented with some small retail units for local traders. Even the loading area has been enhanced as an active pedestrian shortcut for the vast majority of the day when there is no commercial traffic.