Cole Brothers: Revamped John Lewis in Sheffield will be named ‘Cole Store’ and have huge atrium

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The building is set to be transformed by the firm that revamped Park Hill flats

Developers have released the new name for Sheffield’s old Cole Brothers department store.

Urban Splash says the former John Lewis will be called ‘Cole Store,’ in a reference to its original use.

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How the old John Lewis building could look with new glazing and a new storey.How the old John Lewis building could look with new glazing and a new storey.
How the old John Lewis building could look with new glazing and a new storey. | Urban Splash

The firm’s architects, AHMM, propose cutting an atrium out of the Barker’s Pool building to allow light into its ‘deep floor plates’.

Images show an extra storey with huge glass windows, a terrace, greenery and solar panels on what was the car park. 

The details were revealed at an Urban Design Group conference in Sheffield.

Regeneration director Mark Latham described how Cole Brothers was part of the city’s urban fabric and was firmly embedded in the personal histories and experiences of Sheffield’s citizens. It also contained countless tons of embodied carbon.

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Mark Latham, Urban Splash regeneration director and images of the Cole Brothers building today and in the future.Mark Latham, Urban Splash regeneration director and images of the Cole Brothers building today and in the future.
Mark Latham, Urban Splash regeneration director and images of the Cole Brothers building today and in the future. | Other

Urban Splash - famous for revamping Park Hill flats - won the contract to take over and refurbish the former John Lewis building in June.

In its submission to owner Sheffield City Council it said it could partially reopen the huge building in six months and complete the job in three years. With less than two months to go to the end of December, there is no sign of activity inside.

The firm said it would re-establish the building as a place to meet, eat and shop, with the ground floor filled with retail, food and drink and upper floors turned into offices.

The Barker’s Pool and Cambridge Street entrances will be re-opened to allow on-street dining, similar to popular seating introduced on Division Street. 

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The rest of the ground floor will be shops and the lower ground floors will be used for leisure. The upper floors will be workspaces, studio spaces, a gym and rooftop offices with a pocket park. 

The developers said they wanted to keep the existing multi-storey car park but with fewer spaces and only for tenants.

The council took ownership in January 2022 after John Lewis announced it would close with the loss of 299 jobs. It was Grade II listed in July last year.

The authority sold it to Urban Splash on a 250-year lease in June 2023. No details of the price, cost of modernisation or completion date have been given. The company said it intended to submit a detailed report by the end of the year.

Standing at the centre of the council’s £480m Heart of the City II redevelopment scheme, it is perhaps Sheffield’s most important redevelopment site.

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