Colchester Stanway

'Landmark Gateway Store' on a prominent retail site

CHQ designs a replacement Sainsbury's Supermaket to regenerate commercial space near Colchester

The Local Planning Authority desired a ‘Landmark Gateway Store’ for this prominent site which is bounded by the B1408 London Road, the A1124 and the new relief road that links directly to the A12. The new store is located in a highly visible position on a previously unoccupied site west of Colchester Town Centre and fully meets the Local Authorities ambition for this site.

This new Sainsbury’s Supermarket in Colchester opened in December 2010. Its design evolved over a four year period from an original concept idea to use colour into a building that fully meets our clients brief for an innovative landmark gateway store. The superstore is located on a major Trunk Relief Road and is also bounded by two other major roads making it visible on three sides.


A highly visible store

The new store will provide the business a net sales area of 95,576 sq ft (33,379 sq ft) of additional net sales.

The scale and siting of the building influenced the design of the store which, from the start, was conceived to be something different from Sainsbury’s norm. Our client fully supported our proposal to use colour as a key feature to break up the long elevations, establish a clear entrance and add interest. By doing so we have been able to reduce apparent mass, add originality and set context. 

The innovative use of a broken and raised shallow pitched roofs with perimeter glazing has allowed us to provide quality natural light right into the heart of the sales floor. The roofscape together with stepped canopies, coloured panels and muted background cladding has allowed us to set this large building in a prominent position where although it is clearly visible, as intended, it does not dominate the landscape creating the “Landmark Gateway Store” desired by the Local Authority. By use of carefully planned hard and soft landscaping we have achieved a building that feels like it belongs in its setting. This sense of belonging provides a very welcoming feeling upon approach and has helped to make the store busy from day one.

By working closely with our client, the planning authority and the local community we are proud to have achieved a significant building that integrates well within its setting and fully meets our clients brief to design something special for the community.



Parking area surrounding the Sainsbury's supermarket Triple-story, glazed entrance to the retail storeInterior design for Colchester Stanway's new Sainsbury's store


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