On the 11th of April, 2019, Primark opened their new store on Birmingham High Street. This new Primark occupies the former Pavillions Shopping centre, originally housing 49 shop units and a food court, and is set across five trading floors. As a result, measuring 160,000 square feet, the premises holds the Guinness World Record for Largest Fashion Retail Store.
The store is located between two travel hubs, and this had to be taken into consideration at the design stage. RGBW illuminated ETFE pillows, above both entrances, demarcate the route through the store, thus creating a shortcut for commuters and a unique shopping experience. Primark Birmingham is home to a number of in-store experiences. These include the Primark Beauty Studio, the Mills x Primark barber, and three food and beverage offerings
An LED specification reaped the benefits of better energy and, similarly, maintenance savings. The foundation of the cost-effective system lies in the use of suspended track within exposed ceilings. A white finish throughout meant the lighting could blend into the neutral background. Consequently this creates no distinction or disruptions and, therefore, gives flexibility to the space. This allows the store to easily cope with its ever-changing merchandising layouts.
Narrow and medium beam spotlights provide contrast. with an undulating lit environment. In addition, a grid of pendants, with wide beam optics, provide background ambience. This makes a predominantly accent driven scheme more forgiving and manageable.
This sustainable and effective system perfectly accents merchandising, and allows the store interior to shine.
Throughout the store visual interest is high with the use of integrated lighting. Within the space, the lighting is dedicated, above all, to the merchandise. Consistent, self-illuminated graphics and signage perfectly highlight stock.
LAPD expressed architecture and key areas are with light. Two large atria separate the store’s central avenue, which connects the front entrance to the back. We framed the atrium apertures with lines of light, to boost ambient levels below. Replicating this through multiple floors helps to enhance the geometry and height of the spaces. The transition through several floors was key, with continuous lines of light beneath each escalator connecting the atria, therefore aiding navigation.
The exterior envelope was unique to its location, therefore requiring a bespoke solution to deliver maximum impact.
The new metal façade is now easily recognisable on Birmingham’s high street. A double-layered, expanded, metal mesh forms gigantic geometric facets. Optically controlled linear LEDs graze the structure, meanwhile, creating interest using light and shadows.
The RGBW grazer enhances the perforation texture, which creates a beautiful moiré effect as bystanders walk past the façade. This phenomenon provides a subtle dynamism to a static entity.