Apartment Store

Studio Saar, Landstory, Stories, BAS, Megaphone Creative

Our town centres are in crisis. Whilst shops, banks and post offices close, unimaginative, ‘cookie-cutter’ developments sprawl outwards, failing to meet the demand low-cost housing. All the while, latent potential is right under our nose.

We want to apply a defibrillator to the hearts of our towns. We see huge opportunity in the increasing swathes of vacant retail space. The declining need for this space is by no means a new phenomenon and has been falling for decades, with retail vacancy in urban centres averaging at 15%. Our proposal reimagines how a disused Debenhams in Taunton, a 1938 Art Deco department store - an exemplary piece of retail architecture that exudes a sense of civic pride, can bring people, community, and vibrancy back. Our proposal offers a mix of uses on your doorstep.

Designed as places to dwell and linger, with all your needs met under one roof, these stores became the symbol of the ideal retail experience in the age of consumerism. With careful adaptation they can become the spaces for ideal homes in the age of low-carbon living.

The store will act as a circular economy hub, providing people with real world examples of how buildings can be designed for disassembly (every element allocated a material passport, helping track provenance), how demolition material can be repurposed, and how locally grown bio-materials can create new business ventures. These strategies will help kick start a local green industry revolution.

Welcome to APARTMENT STORE, town centre living meeting all your needs.

Ben Stephenson, Placemaking Consultant

Megaphone Creative

Ben Mann, Film Maker

Studio Saar

Jonny Buckland, Architect

Paul Clark, Developer

Simon Brown, Landscape Architect