Civic Supermarket

An elegant, contemporary colonnade clad in Nordic Bronze from Aurubis adds a sense of civic permanence to this city-centre supermarket, taking retail architecture to a new level.

On a key route into the heart of Chester, the flagship Waitrose store is fully integrated with a new public realm including a pedestrian bridge across the canal. As part of a master-plan for the area, alignment of the supermarket and the adjoining walkway enhance views of the historic ‘shot tower’, adding to its role as a landmark.

Nordic Bronze was selected at an early design stage for the colonnade and other façade elements. The building’s designer Matt Brook, director of architects Broadway Malyan, said:

“We wanted to use a material for the expressed frame that would reference the area’s industrial heritage, particularly of metalworking. In addition, the strong, natural colour of the gradually weathering bronze complements the surrounding historic brick and sandstone buildings.”

The colonnade and primary structural elements expressed on the exterior of the building are set out on a 7.9m structural grid and clad in sheet Nordic Bronze, with the principal elevations being clad in either perforated Nordic Bronze or glazed with a curtain wall capped with perforated Nordic Bronze fins. Both are set out vertically on a 1.128m grid sub-module of the primary structural grid.

Nordic Bronze is produced by Aurubis, part of the world’s leading integrated copper group and largest copper recycler. Other copper alloys include Nordic Brass – now also available pre-weathered – and the innovative Nordic Royal with a long-lasting golden colour. In addition to Nordic Standard copper, other Aurubis Architectural surfaces include various Nordic Green and Nordic Blue factory-applied patinas – developed with properties and colours based on the same brochantite mineralogy found in natural patinas all over the world. Nordic Brown pre-oxidised copper gives either light or dark brown oxidisation that otherwise takes time to develop in the environment.