© Peter Cook
© Peter Durant

Tesco Ludlow

We worked with architects MacCormac Jamieson Prichard to renew this Tesco store on a brownfield site in the centre of Ludlow, Shropshire. Set within a picturesque High Street, the structure needed to respond to the restrictions of a conservation order, striking a balance between the retail needs of residents and environmental concerns.

A key element of the design was to keep the aesthetic impact of a large building to a minimum; we needed to find a way of fulfilling function without drawing attention to this. We kept the height of the building low along the sensitive High Street frontage, which we clad in specialist brickwork, rising up to three storeys at the rear.

The substructure comprised a conventional ground bearing slab on compacted hardcore; steel columns, set to a grid of 6.75 m at the narrowest (to work around standard checkout spacing,) required mass concrete pad foundations. The steel frame was adopted for the superstructure to meet a number of construction phase requirements. It easily achieved the long span requirements demanded by a retail store, with horizontal roof steels spanning up to 40 m in places. The frame was quick and easy to build and was much lighter than any concrete options.

Columns were tapered and continued through to the upper storeys to provide lateral stability and limit deflection, particularly in the middle sections of long beam spans. The taller frame to the rear of the building was portalised in both directions, maximising flexibility and removing the need for cross bracing.

A curving roof construction was used to soften the visual impact of the building, reducing in thickness towards the perimeter and cantilevering out by 1.5 m to provide shelter and screening below, and implementing a gutter system which sends rainwater away from the building, which allowed the roof shape to remain independent of internal columns, since no internal downpipes were required.

Renovation of a Tesco store in the quaint centre of Ludlow

Shropshire, UK
MacCormac Jamieson Prichard
£ 2.5 million

  • 2001 Civic Trust Award