The work includes replacement of the shop front and fascia, as well as a complete refurbishment and re-organisation of the interior. The design intent for the new frontage is to re-establish a carefully considered and well-proportioned shop front in a contemporary manner, while being respectful to the building’s heritage and form. The re-organisation of the interior includes removal of a later and poorly planned stair serving first floor retail space and the creation of a new route to the upper floors, as well as removal of display windows which block views into the store. These interventions create an enlarged and clear retail space on the ground floor with clear visibility from the street on both High Street and Cornhill frontages. The line of the fascia is raised, suspended ceilings removed and the shop windows taken to full height from floor level giving better proportioned building frontages. The frameless glass shop front exposes the supporting columns and gives maximum visibility into the retail area and displays. The new entrances and pavement levels will be adapted to give level access into the store. This work has been achieved through careful attention to the history of the building; existing features such as original stairwells on the upper floors have been preserved and cast iron columns exposed and incorporated into the design. The fascia incorporates flush-mounted roll-out blinds to minimise solar gain and reduce the need for air conditioning.
Repairs to the fabric of the building are also planned and listed building consent has been obtained for these, working closely with the City Council planning and conservation officers. The work includes re-roofing, restoration and replacement of windows, external wall brickwork and stone / stucco features, and replacement of the decorative cornices and lead parapet gutters.