Department store to become sustainable university block
Planning permission has been granted to transform the vacant Debenhams department store in the centre of Gloucester into a new sustainable City Campus for University of Gloucestershire.
Led by architectural practice ADP, the adaptive re-use of the former department store will be a major catalyst in the reinvigoration of Gloucester’s high street and its wider city centre regeneration. The campus, which will anchor the University firmly in the community, is also set to house public health, wellbeing and cultural services, to create a thriving city hub.
The landmark Art Deco building sits in Kings Square, in the heart of Gloucester City Conservation Area. ADP’s plans will comprehensively renovate and modernise the five-storey, 20,000m² 1930s building to create attractive high-tech spaces for teaching and learning, while providing a welcoming and inclusive public space.
The campus will eventually be home for both the schools of Education and Humanities and Health and Social Care, providing general and specialist teaching spaces, helping the University’s ambitious growth plans to increase student numbers.
The retrofit project, which will make the most of the existing building envelope and structure, will also bring it up to today’s energy standards. ADP said it will improve the building fabric to maximise natural daylight and minimise excessive solar gain, and the practice will implement low carbon design features and technologies, including intelligent building systems for heating, cooling, ventilation, and lighting.
Natalia Lopez, Associate Director at ADP said: “ADP is delighted to be involved in such a significant project for the University of Gloucestershire. This project will see the historic, former Debenham’s building in the heart of Gloucester city centre refurbished and revitalised to provide it with a connected, world-class new home. The campus will also be a home for community engagement and education.”