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'Radical' design change at ASDA

In-house architects at the UK’s second-largest supermarket operator ASDA have submitted substantially revised plans for a superstore in Ware – a move billed as ‘major change’ in the company’s design ethos

The East Hertfordshire scheme has been hailed as ‘symbolic’ of a ‘major design review’ at ASDA, according to the design team who recently ran an 18-month-long review of their process.

Planning officers recommended the original project for refusal leading to the re-think and a move away from the traditional ‘white box’ format.

The new design restores historic buildings on the site and builds on the town’s maltings history.

Darrel Owens, head of architecture and design development at ASDA said: ‘We’ve traditionally been regarded as approaching store design in a conservative manner, with a strong preference toward the buildings’ operational function, without adapting to any alternative aesthetic style.

‘Since last year, we have been submitting planning applications that incorporate store design that is more sympathetic and in keeping with the character and heritage of local areas.

‘Public consultation has been vital to getting it right, and in the case of Ware we have worked very closely with the local authority and local residents to design a building which is sympathetic to its local context in terms of form and scale, utilises two existing buildings of historic significance, and reflects local materials.’

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