The Shire Hall site represents a key town centre location that has lost it’s purpose because of the relocation of public function and the decline of retail. Throughout this project I have researched how this particular site can be used to express the identity of the town centre and establish a successful relationship to public space.
Previously an eye sore and a reminder of the town’s mistake of demolishing a historic relic, redeveloping the Shire Hall site has created a paradigm project in the heart of Shrewsbury’s Old Town. Contextual in nature and developed in response to social and physical characteristics, the proposal helps to translate the creative identity of Shrewsbury through form and programme (Genus Loci). Home to the ‘Original Shrewsbury’ movement, locals are provided with office space for start up businesses, flexible retail units, diverse family orientated and professional housing, and community focused public space. Re-conceptualising the original Della Porta Department store addresses the prevalent issue of Britain’s failing high-streets by redesigning the shopping experience. Translating Shrewsbury’s identity through tangible and intangible elements forms the backbone of this project and emphasises the need for modern interventions to respond sensitively to their context. It is through analogous design and satisfying Locus Solus (expressing the nature and memories of the place), that we can be innovative in our fight against urban amnesia.