The leisure and retail destination forms part of the wider regeneration of Bracknell, the first post-war new town to be demolished and rebuilt. Christian Guyton reports.

ONE of the UK’s largest urban regeneration schemes is currently underway in Bracknell Forest, Berkshire, with £768m being invested in the regeneration of both the town centre and the wider area. The Lexicon, a new leisure and retail destination which opened in the heart of Bracknell this September, forms an important part of the borough’s revival. Developed by the Bracknell Regeneration

Partnership, a joint venture between Legal & General Capital and the Schroder UK Real Estate Fund in partnership Bracknell Forest Council, the £240m scheme brings 580,000sq ft of new shops, restaurants and leisure to the town in addition to public spaces for events and entertainment. The regenerated town centre comprises

one million sq ft, including the existing Princess Square shopping centre. It occupies approximately one third of Bracknell’s original town centre replacing the town’s original 1940s buildings, which were much criticised for their brutalist and utilitarian architecture.

merging old with new Civic chiefs have been planning the revitalisation of Bracknell for more than 15


years. With significant improvements to the town’s existing High Street and 70 new shops and restaurants, the Lexicon also includes a 12-screen Cineworld cinema boasting the only 4DX screening experience in the Thames Valley and a large bowling alley. The scheme also includes 92 apartments, a new 1,300 space multi-story car park as well as public squares. The Lexicon was masterplanned and

concept designed by architects BDP together with Chapman Taylor, while Mace was the main contractor for the project. The Charles Square element of the

scheme, planned and designed by Chapman Taylor, combines new build elements with refurbished existing retail buildings to create two new anchor stores for Primark and TKMaxx, complemented by a mix of smaller retail units and public spaces. BDP was lead consultant, architect and

lighting designer for the six blocks that constitute the Northern Retail Quarter element of the development, including two department stores, retail units, restaurants and cafes, the cinema, multi storey car park and apartments set in a series of new streets and squares. BPD also designed the town’s Waitrose supermarket in 2011 that served

as an anchor for the Lexicon project. The development benefits from both

open and covered streets, with one square containing a surrounding balcony upper level with additional storefronts.

Remembering its roots Despite the abandonment of a plan to implement a historical mural above a storefront within the Lexicon, the history of Bracknell and the surrounding area has not been forgotten in the revitalisation efforts. The Bull, a local pub with elements dating back to the 1300s, was subject to a thorough restoration and extension and sits in the heart of the development. Forest makes up some 20 per cent of the

borough and ‘the greening of Bracknell’ was key to the design of the scheme and the public realm. This is reflected in an open-air decking area and extensive use of green living walls, including one of the largest green walls in Europe. Elsewhere, the scheme employs

materials such as brick, timber, feature perforated aluminium as well as gold/silver aluminium cladding. A key feature of the scheme is the diagrid roof that sits above Braccan walk and the Fenwick building; the

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43