5 Godwin Street, Bradford

The annexe building of the former TJ Hughes department store on Godwin Street in Bradford was a blight on the landscape of the city’s historic commercial area.  Blake Hopkinson Architects have transformed the empty retail building into active commercial premises to deliver 33,000 sq ft of prime office space in a prime city centre location.

Prior to development, 5 Godwin Street was actually comprised of two parts.  The Sunwin House building, at the intersection of Sunbridge Road and Godwin Street is an L-shaped building and the lower-level three and four-storey portion of the building, or the ‘annexe’, was the former TJ Hughes department store.

The annexe building had a distinctly 1960’s aesthetic with a sloping appearance to the ground floor as it followed the gradient of Godwin Street.  The existing building featured three floors of former retail space and a small plant and lift section on floor four.  The building has two main sections, the department store with its delivery bay area and the old stone-built warehouse building, both to the rear.

The client brief was clear, to provide a refurbishment scheme comprised mainly of B1 office space.  The building would be converted from retail on the ground, first and second floor into more general open-plan office space with service cores to the rear of the building.  The third floor of the building would be providing general office space.

Blake Hopkinson Architects delivered the design with work starting on site in April 2017.  The project was delivered on time and on budget by Blake Hopkinson Architects and construction partner Bowmer & Kirkland with the creation of 33,000 sq ft of office space.

One of the most technically challenging elements of the design was the interior space.  The department store had operated with floor levels different to that of the rear, stone-built warehouse building.  To rectify this, all floors were removed from the rear warehouse building and external walls were retained to support a major new structural steel frame in the pursuit of a new flooring structure to match that of the department store at the front of the building.

The building exterior did require considerable change in a bid to improve the aesthetic and differentiate it from the adjacent Sunwin House.  The resulting cladding solution using light coloured stone from the local Crossland Hill quarry helped to complement the contemporary glazing and provide a strong street-level improvement to the contemporary overall look of the scheme.