Back in 2013, Waitrose asked Synergy BSS for help in designing their new Kings Cross store. In this case, they were not able to use their standard store model, so we collaborated and found them an innovative solution.
Waitrose have a typical model, which they maintain as their brand. It is a clean, minimal look with white ceilings and light coloured floors. Waitrose prefer to use the same method for all of their new stores in order to stay in line with their branding. However, when it came to a new site in Kings Cross, Waitrose had to take a different approach.
The new store is inside part of a Grade II-listed Victorian building in the old train sheds of Kings Cross Station in London. The Midlands Goods Shed is a huge wrought iron and brick structure, built in 1850 by the Great Northern Railway as part of a temporary passenger terminal while the current King’s Cross station was being built. It was converted seven years later into a goods shed, to enable the Midland Railway to handle and store goods delivered to Kings Cross from across the country. Because of the listed status, many of the sheds’ original features would have to be kept.
To Waitrose this presented a challenge. What would the end result look like? Would they still be able to make it a recognisable Waitrose store? Could they maintain the brand or, better still, could they take this opportunity and enhance the brand? What would they do with all the Victorian features? The building has a pitched glass roof, exposed steelwork and brickwork, which had to be carefully restored and assumed into the interior design of the building.
Using specialist software, we were able to show Waitrose the look and feel of the design of the new store building services before a single light or length of ductwork had been fixed. We used Revit® building design software, and worked extensively producing the design of the store in 3D. What Revit enabled us to do was to show Waitrose accurate visualisations of the installed systems before they’d even started on site. This meant that decisions could be made as to the aesthetics of the installation well in advance.
When we showed the software images to Tony Jacob, Head of Construction at JL Waitrose, he asked “Is that real?” and commented that “We really are at the point now where design can accurately represent the end product”. The quality of the graphics that we produced look as good as photos. The new store opened in September this year and adds real value to the renovated Kings Cross station.