Friars Walk Leslie Jones Architecture

Friars Walk

Delivery of the £117m Friars Walk retail and leisure destination, part of the wider regeneration of Newport City Centre.

  • Clients: Newport city council and Queensberry Real Estate
  • New 390,000 sq ft retail and leisure destination
  • Creation of a modern civic space

As one of the fastest growing towns in Wales, Newport is undergoing a comprehensive programme of regeneration, of which Friars Walk is a central part.

Friars Walk has reshaped the landscape of Newport with retail sales expected to double in the city, adding £120 million per annum and the city’s catchment predicted to increase from 211,000 to 367,000 with an estimated footfall of 10-12 million per annum (Source: Javelin/DTZ).

The 390,000 sq ft centre features a 90,000 sq ft Debenhams Department Store as well as other retail anchors H&M and Next. The leisure offer includes an eight screen Cineworld multiplex cinema, a Superbowl UK with 12 State of the art lanes and riverside restaurants including Loungers, Nando’s and Le Bistrot Pierre.

Lying between the River Usk and Newport’s existing retail core, the scheme reconnects a disjointed part of the cityscape to create a cohesive, attractive and accessible urban realm.

Leslie Jones’ innovative designs seamlessly integrate a network of covered streets to create an all-weather destination. Differences in street levels are resolved by the new three-storey Debenhams to the north, which will encourage pedestrian activity, while double-height shop fronts will meet the needs of today’s sophisticated retailers.

A series of public spaces starting at John Frost Square lead pedestrians through the development, past the restaurants and cinema toward the cultural and university buildings which line the River Usk. A bridge over the waterway links these spaces to the rugby and football stadiums and residential developments beyond.

Taking inspiration from the surrounding Welsh landscape and Newport’s historic architecture, Leslie Jones has incorporated slate, timber, steel and glass into the design. This will further reinforce the scheme’s position within the architectural context of Newport.

Leslie Jones’ experience and expertise in retail-led urban regeneration ensured a smooth planning process for the scheme and an excellent working relationship with the Local Authority.

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February 19, 2017