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Gradon Architecture reveals designs for Mongolian shopping centre

Gradon Mongolia 4
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Gradon Architecture has unveiled its design for a £20 million regeneration project in the heart of Mongolia’s capital city

The practice, founded in Tyne and Wear but now with a studio in Mongolia, has received planning approval for Galleria UB, a high-end shopping centre in a disused former print works on Ulaanbaatar’s central square.

The exterior of the building, which is on Chinggis Square close to Mongolia’s parliament building, will be restored and the interior revamped to create two floors of modern retail space. Work is due to start on site in March 2017, with completion scheduled for early 2018.

‘Mongolia, and Ulaanbaatar in particular, are changing very quickly, and it’s hugely exciting to be involved in shaping the future of the city,’ said Gradon technical director Tanja Smith, who manages the practice’s Mongolian studio. ‘Galleria UB is in a prime location and will offer an unrivalled shopping experience to both tourists and residents alike.’

Mongolia 36 cropped

Mongolia 36 cropped

Gradon Architecture will convert a former print works on Ulaanbaatar’s central square into modern retail space

Gradon set up in Mongolia last year and believes it was the first UK practice to do so. In its first 18 months, the Ulaanbaatar studio has worked on projects including the masterplan for the £200 million Four Seasons entertainment, residential and commercial complex and the £20 million Tugulduur shopping centre, both in Ulaanbaatar. 

The firm, founded by Graham and Donna McDarby in 2009, also has studios in the North East of England and Northern Ireland, and is expanding its operations at both these bases through phased recruitment.

It plans to add four or five members of staff, including architects and architectural technologists at both professional and graduate level, to its two-person studio in Derry, which opened in July last year. It will recruit up to three people at its office at Ryton, near Gateshead.

Project data

Location Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Type of project retail – shopping centre
Client Tavan Bogd Group
Architect Gradon Architecture
Structural engineer local engineering company
M&E consultant local engineering company
Main contractor yet to be awarded but may be project managed by client
Funding private
Start on site date 1 March 2017
Completion date early 2018
Contract duration dependent on the winter shutdown for construction
Gross internal floor area circa 4,400m²; potentially 5600m² if the scheme grows
Form of contract and/or procurement Traditional
Total cost Approx £20 million

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