House of Fraser

This project was awarded Commended in the  New Modern Style Stone Cladding category at the Natural Stone Awards 2010.

The official guide said, 'The building was conceived as a dramatic landmark that would signal the gateway to the city centre and work well at the scale of the passing pedestrian or motorist by creating interest through its form and materials - a contemporary reinterpretation of the grand department stores of the late 19th century.

The building compromises massive cubic volumes at its upper levels, juxtaposed and cantilevered out about above a single-storey plinth. The elevations are clad in 247 pre-cast concrete panels of different sizes faced with 50mm Portland stone and arranged in portrait format.

Most of the stone is Portland Roach, a cavernous, shelly oolitic limestone with a high fossil content. It is a hard and extremely durable material able to resist pollution. At the principal corner of the building above the wide display window, smoother Whitbed stone is used, contrasting with the Roach in the way that it is caught by the light and in its appearance when wet.

The choice of materials used to clad the building was carefully made to contribute to its interest when viewed close up.'

The judges commented, 'Large retail buildings pose serious problems of scale for architects. The design successfully responds to this challenge by emphasizing a massive citadel-like quality. The choice of Portland Roach bed stone seems entirely appropriate, as it is both correct in scale and in character. The building is appropriately bold and rugged in that part of Bristol while the stone reveals the nature in the fossils visible in it. The detailing of the joins is simple but effective.'

To view this project in more detail, please click here.

House of Fraser using Portland Stone