Princesshay shopping centre, Exeter

Contractor: Sir Robert McAlpine
Architect: Chapman Taylor
Window fabricator and installer: Solaglas, Bristol
Type of works: use of Vision 50 ground-floor treatments, CS68 window and door systems, CP50 sliding doors, TP110 patio doors, and CW50 windows and curtain walling.

Reynaers curtain walling, windows and doors have played a key part in the redevelopment of a shopping centre in the heart of Exeter’s conservation area.

Princesshay in Exeter has been the subject of a £235m renovation and redevelopment scheme designed by architect Chapman Taylor, combining 121 residential units with 60 shops encompassing over 39,000m2 of retail area, including five restaurants and a 12,000m2 Debenhams. Landscaped open spaces, new car parks and increased pedestrian routes link Princesshay with the high street and the rest of the city.

The aim of the scheme, developed by Sir Robert McAlpine, was to create a unique retail and residential city centre development to reinforce the city’s role as a regional capital for the south west of England whilst still complementing its historical content.

In order to achieve this, a range of Reynaers products was used, including Vision 50 ground floor treatments used largely for shop frontages; CS68 window and door systems, selected for their high insulation and safety properties; CP50 sliding doors; TP110 patio doors and CW50 windows; and curtain walling. This particular system was chosen as it offers unlimited creative freedom but is designed to allow maximum light into buildings by its slim 50mm sightlines.

A number of environmental factors were borne in mind in the Princesshay design. The idea of having mixed use properties, both residential and retail, was to develop a round-the-clock living city, rather than a purely daytime destination, and there was also a focus on improved transportation and public links to reduce potential car use. All Reynaers products address the environmental issue fully by being 100% recyclable.

Alan Clevett, façade specialist for Sir Robert McAlpine, comments: “This development was a challenge and we were pleased to be able to utilise Reynaers systems for specific applications. The environmental factor, particularly in respect of both the use of recycled materials and complying with forthcoming legislation, was an important consideration.”

Reynaers National Sales Manager, Paul Duffy, adds: “We’re proud to have played such a major part in this prestigious project. The quality and flexibility of our product has permitted a design which is striking, light and modern, yet sits perfectly at the heart of a historic city and provides marvellous views of Exeter Cathedral; exactly what the planners had in mind.”

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