Following last years 'Highly Commended' for Catford Mews, our second completed project for The Really Local Group at The Biscuit Factory won this years AJ Retrofit Award in the Hotel, Retail & Leisure category, further validation of our approach to the challenges of rethinking, reimagining and delivering change to our High Streets and town centres. The judges comments were as follows
Wren Architecture and Design
The Biscuit Factory
How to revitalise Britain’s ailing high streets is one of the key regeneration challenges of the day and Wren’s Biscuit Factory in Reading answers this question with aplomb.
The scheme, a three-screen cinema and multi-purpose community hub with food stalls and private hire space, is for client Really Local Group which aims to introduce new cultural uses into existing local social infrastructure.
What was a closed, inaccessible, dark space – previously an Argos stockroom at first floor level – has been transformed into a light, accessible and sociable space. While reuse and repurpose is very much the order of the day, the architect has created a large window at the front to bring daylight into the main space and opened up the corner above the entrance to create a terrace to animate the area outside. The judges were wowed by what had been accomplished on such a modest budget and described the project as a ‘great model’ for high street redevelopment.
Interior concept by Lyttleton Yates.
Construction by Really Local Developments/Chris Tabard.
Photo credits: Will Pryce, Richard Parks, & Wren Architecture & Design.
The project was also featured in a really nice article the Autumn 2022 issue of Concrete Quarterly