Sheppard Robson gets green light to rethink major department store site in central Lincoln

1st July 2020

Sheppard Robson has been granted planning permission for a major High Street development that transforms a large retail site into a mixed-use hotel and retail development for global real asset investment manager PATRIZIA.

The main new, five-storey building brings together a 150-room, four-star lifestyle hotel above flexible retail space fronting the high street, creating a mixed-use development that respects its historic context and will future-proof an important site currently occupied by House of Fraser.

The hotel will support the city’s tourism and leisure businesses, with a restaurant, bar, meeting and event spaces located around a new public courtyard that provides welcome new green space in this urban location. The hotel’s entrance stands between the main building addressing High Street and a smaller restaurant building to the west of the site, with a glazed frontage to the reception offering views through to the public space from the street.

A bold plan to comprehensively redevelop the site unlocks urban design benefits. The development re-opens and improves the adjacent ginnel—a historic, narrow pedestrian passage—that links the new hotel courtyard with the high street. This sets back the building line along the Mint street frontage, creating wider pavements, improving townscape views and allowing the building to settle into the surrounding townscape.

Featuring 985m2 of retail space facing onto the high street, the development is designed to be as flexible as possible. Easily sub-divided to provide space for multiple tenants and configurations, this adaptability helps ensure that high street retail is maintained and supported in this key city-centre location.

Claire Haywood, partner at Sheppard Robson, said: “We are living in a time when our cities, and how we design and inhabit them, is under intense scrutiny. Together with our partners PATRIZIA, we are pleased that this project engages with many pertinent themes: the future of shopping and how large retail sites can be rethought for a changing world; the value of high quality public spaces to bring people together whilst not feeling confined; and, with the possibility of behavioural change on the horizon, the importance of flexible, mixed-use development that can adapt to changes ahead.”

New active retail frontages are also located along Mint Street, enhancing the area’s vitality. A pre-cast, light brick façade roots the development in its context, while offering a contemporary interpretation of the qualities that characterise the surrounding Conservation Area. The top floor of the building is recessed, creating rooftop terraces for rooms whilst reducing the mass of the building in order to respect local building heights.

The Mint Lane restaurant building is smaller in scale, with pitched roofs and high-quality red brickwork echoing the scale and materiality of neighbouring domestic buildings, while respecting the diversity of local building heights.

Dan Burr, partner at Sheppard Robson, said: “The project offered the opportunity to make a positive architectural statement on a key site in Lincoln’s high street as it rises towards the cathedral. The architecture responds to both civic and vernacular settings through strong forms, hierarchized composition, vertical proportions and tactile qualities of the materials.”