Huyton Shopfronts Knowsley, Merseyside

Knowsley Council employed Architectural Emporium to transform Huyton Village by rejuvenating existing shop fronts. First, we produced a vision for the wider shopping precinct with plans for new buildings and landscape interventions, before focussing on individual shop fronts within existing urban blocks. Phase 1 involves the refurbishment of 5 shops within the ownership of the council. The council had acquired the shops to use as a ‘test’ for the impact of upgrading shop fronts and its effect on the town as a whole. It has proved hugely successful and has led to the programme being rolled out along the rest of the high street. The nature of the building block and original typology led to an approach which promotes small independent shops. Architectural Emporium developed a number of schemes which respected the fundamental elements of the original building but created a big enough impact to promote change in the rest of the area. The chosen design uses a mix of contemporary and traditional interventions to create a timeless feel that can appeal to the whole community. The council were also keen to use timber, which could be seen as more of a risk and involve a higher level of maintenance, however it is much more approachable and tactile than aluminum, which has proved ideal for this first phase.