House of Fraser recently opened its first full bricks and mortar store in nearly a decade to anchor the new Rushden Lakes shopping and leisure complex in Northamptonshire. The newly constructed 64,000ft² department store is House of Fraser’s first store at an out-of-town retail and leisure complex and also their first sustainable store as every aspect of its architecture and interior is designed to connect with its beautiful natural setting.
Surrounded by 200 acres of wetlands managed by The Wildlife Trust, the new £140 million Rushden Lakes development is a unique concept that brings shopping and eating together with outdoor actives such as canoeing. The House of Fraser interior, designed by White Design, connects beautifully with the stores natural setting and even includes a naturally lit, 48m² living wall in the central atrium which is home to more than 2,000 indoor plants.
Other features designed to be sensitive to the local setting include a stunning bird art installation above the living wall. Featuring local bird species, the design features RSPB award winning artist Cecilia Smith’s trademark upcycling, as it is made from 100 per cent recycled wire. Continuing the theme throughout the store, bespoke wallpaper and fittings designed in conjunction with The Wildlife Trust feature birds found in the local vicinity.
For those who want to soak up the atmosphere, restaurant and champagne bar Eden enjoys stunning views overlooking the lakes, and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner making it the perfect setting to enjoy a pre or post shopping aperitif.
The stores sustainability is officially confirmed through its BREEAM Excellent certification (BREEAM is the world’s leading sustainability assessment method encompassing everything from building design to operation, energy use, water and waste reduction, the use of low impact materials and biodiversity protection). Dr Dorothy Maxwell, head of sustainability at House of Fraser, said:
“Being sensitive to the wildlife in and around Rushden Lakes has been a priority for House of Fraser as well as making the store meet high environmental standards. As a responsible retailer, we are delighted to be based in such as beautiful natural setting and aim to protect it and share this experience with our customers.”
In addition to designing a store sympathetic to the local environment, House of Fraser is of course a department store known for its strong brand offering and Rushden Lakes is no different – boasting more than 50 premium and high street brands across fashion, beauty, womenswear, menswear, kidswear and homeware. Highlights for shoppers include Beauty Spotlight brands (a revolutionary in-store concept highlighting the most innovative beauty products), a plethora of women’s fashion brands including the newly launched exclusive brand Issa, an extensive menswear floor filled with premium brands, the world-renowned toy shop Hamleys amongst the clothing brands in the kids section and a homeware section with everything from Samsonite luggage to high quality furniture and kitchen appliances.