Thomasons’ association with the famous Debenhams brand dates back to the 1970s, when we designed the original Oxford Street store. The partnership has continued over the years with a flow of projects involving design modifications and refurbishments to Debenhams stores across the UK.
In addition, our building surveyors frequently provide advice and guidance to many Debenhams stores regarding building condition surveys, planned maintenance and dilapidation, as well as overseeing and monitoring landlords’ repair works.
One of Thomasons’ most high profile projects for Debenhams was the £40 million internal and external makeover of its flagship Oxford Street store in 2013/14, the biggest single redevelopment Oxford Street had ever seen.
We provided structural engineering support to increase the number of floors to seven, add new escalators, infill part of the atrium and widen walkways, giving the store 20,000 sq ft. of extra selling space. 20 new windows and a new 25-metre skylight in the atrium were added to flood natural light into the building.
Other projects for Debenhams have included:
Debenhams Guildford: Thomasons was structural consultant for the original construction and was later involved in a significant refurbishment of the 1960s building.
We provided structural designs to reorganise the sales area and incorporate a glazed entrance and piazza at the front of the store, with a riverside walk alongside.
Debenhams Oxford: the existing store was demolished, while the original façade was retained. Thomasons carried out the main contract works and fit-out of the store, which included a glazed scenic lift structure and curved cantilever staircase within an impressive atrium area at the main entrance.
Debenhams Plymouth/Torquay: this project involved replacing the original escalators, which had suspended concrete pits and concrete roller shutter enclosures on each floor. Their removal allowed new escalator atriums to be formed and significantly improved visibility across the store.
Debenhams Cheshire Oaks: a new 60,000 sq. ft. store was created by merging two vacant units. A new escalator void and double height entrance lobby were built, surrounded by cantilevered glass balustrades and glass screens at mezzanine level. Thomasons designed the structural elements and advised on the specialist glass design. Externally, our engineers designed an innovative support frame to attach striking new cladding to the original cladding.
Images provided by Debenhams.