Redevelopment of the former Co-Operative Department Store building in London Road, Brighton provided much needed accommodation for University of Sussex students whilst retaining some retail units, the use for which the original building was designed. Approval was obtained following extensive consultations with, amongst others, Brighton and Hove planning and conservation officers and the Southeast Regional Design Panel, and a redesign in response to being “locally listed” in March 2012. The inter-war neo-Classical design of the façade with its two giant fluted columns above the front entrance was considered an important asset and worthy of retention. The original building façade has therefore been retained and a new building inserted behind it. The integration of the new development with the 1930’s façade has been enhanced by the removal of unsympathetic later additions. The design also reflects the significance of the building in terms of its townscape interest, historic interest and its communal value as a local landmark.
The redevelopment of the former Co-operative Department Store has brought the site back into a positive and sustainable use, a sustainable agenda underpinning all aspects of the design – social, economic and environmental. The development has given a vibrancy to the area and has acted as a catalyst for the regeneration of the London Road corridor, an aspiration of the local residents, businesses, the Council and the DCLG.