Our competition proposal for The Grafton Centre in the market town of Altrincham, Greater Manchester, seeks to reimagine the former shopping centre structure as a new experience led destination. As shopping habits continue to change our town centres need to reinvent themselves to remain relevant, a transition Altrincham has helped lead the way on with its highly successful market-led regeneration. The proposal builds on this by providing exciting new opportunities to perform, learn and play, creatively reusing the former 70’s shopping centre to create a complimentary yet contrasting experience to the existing town centre offer. In doing so, the proposal seeks to broaden the appeal of the town centre for both visitors and the local community, with a particular focus on the young.
At present, the site sits as an obstacle within Altrincham town centre, preventing pedestrian flow between the thriving leisure districts of the markets and Goose Green, as well as dragging down the western end of the retail district of George Street. By connecting together these districts the Grafton Centre not only has the potential to improve connectivity around the town, but to develop a thriving cultural district at its heart.