The Bishop Centre
Project: The Bishop Centre
Company: B & K Structures
Technology: Glulam and CLT
In 2013 plans were passed to create an out of town shopping experience with an innovative new retail and business park on the outskirts of the village of Taplow, situated on the river Thames in Buckinghamshire. The key driver for the build was to create a brand new and exclusive shopping experience.
The design for the centre was exceptional, as all customer facing elements were to be constructed from glulam larch beams, as well as steel. The centre was designed to attract a new customer base, as well as to provide a new and much needed retail, residential and business facility for the local community. The 140,000 sq ft mixed use scheme includes office, residential, community and employment accommodation.
Land Securities has owned and operated the Bishop Centre since 2005. With a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility and sustainability, their key objective for the build was to minimise the environmental impact and reduce the disruption to the local community.
Delivering a high-quality shopping experience was resolutely at the heart of The Bishop Centre’s business strategy - underpinned by sound ecological principles. By the provision of outstanding facilities, the objective was to gain customer loyalty and drive repeat business.
By offering a distinct point of difference the objective was to drive footfall which, in turn, would increase revenue and enhance the letting potential of the units to secure and retain tenants.
Engineered timber technology was therefore selected as the core structural component, not only for its aesthetic appeal but also the material’s environmentally strong credentials. The offsite manufacturing techniques used for this method of construction, minimise the impact on the local community, reduce onsite waste and deliver a rapid construction programme.
The proposal for the build incorporated sustainable technologies in order to reduce impact on the environment.
Glulam was chosen to offer stakeholders a different experience to traditional out-of-town shopping centres and to create wide open spaces which are the main requirement for these types of structures. The core structural timber component of the glulam larch beams were manufactured by the Austrian based company, Rubner. European Larch was chosen for its high durability, aesthetic appeal and to offer stand-out from other competing outlets constructed from traditional steel beams. The projecting entrance roof was executed by integrating complex steel elements into the glulam beams. Thanks to a meticulous and sophisticated detailed design and accurate production works, an exact and efficient assembly of the elements could be secured.
Outcome / results / success factor
The finished £20m build provides a distinctive, sustainable space, congenial atmosphere and an unrivalled shopping experience, underpinned with high quality landscaping and public art.
The building is characterised by its protruding cantilever roofs, spacious interior design and exposed glulam structures.
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