Country Grocer - Bowen Road
The design is in contrast to the traditional retail big box store approach. The design reinforces the corporate vision of ' Country Grocer' as a friendly community based business that not only provides quality produce, but also provides a quality user experience. The associative link to the farm environment - from where many of the products originate - is reinforced with: the market atmosphere, clustering of agrarian forms, use of natural and utilitarian materials/ methods, thoughtful details. Unlike many other small strip mall projects in Nanaimo, the commercial/ retail complex , addresses the street and promotes enjoyable indoor and outdoor public spaces as part of daily activity, and not just pure consumption. Bowen Road is enhanced and enlivened with canopies, seating areas, landscaping and ample glazing, to create a more urban experience. The design makes a concerted effort to cluster independent but familiar forms which allude to a casual arrangement of a farmers market place. The form vocabulary consists of two primary barn forms, shed roofs, cupolas, dormers, and pedestrian based arcades.
The large massing of the primary barn forms create an iconic association that allow formal emphasis to be placed in key areas along Bowen road and the main entry to the store. The additional vertical height required to create these forms is part of the sustainable passive strategy to assist in ventilation as well as day lighting. Along Bowen road, the higher grade combined with openings in the mezzanine, and large windows, provides transparency so pedestrians can view the inside operation of the Bakery and Deli.
A large glazed feature dormer allows natural light to pass through the outdoor space and into the grocery store. This south facing glazing of the dormer provides solar heat gain while adjustable high level ventilation louvers control the temperature by manipulating the natural air buoyancy of stack ventilation. The feature cupolas along Bowen road act as air ventilation also capitalizing on the stack effect and air exhaust. Heat generated from the mechanical and electrical rooms is captured to heat the mezzanine office spaces during the heating season.
Situated on an designated urban corridor the grocery store will service the daily needs of the nearby neighbourhoods. A new bus stop is proposed adjacent to a covered arcade along Bowen road. The two storey building form along Bowen reinforces the urban corridor while creating extensive rain protection and fenestration to encourage interaction with the street and the internal operation of the facilities. Pedestrian walkways and bicycle access are provided on site. Community services such as a Canada Post Outlet, Floral arrangements, Deli, Bakery, Café, and Bank are provided along with indoor and outdoor seating areas.
With walls built from prefabricated Structural Insulated Panels (SIP), the insulation value and air tightness is increased well above industry standards. The local ecology is enhanced & expressed with rain water features that spill rainwater into bio-swales which store, delay, and filter storm water.
The tectonic building systems are expressed as an integral part of the architecture. Telephone wires, mechanical vents, timber structures, gas meters, rain water leaders, all work together in an honest and utilitarian form articulation.
General Contractor: Island West Coast Developments
Architect: Raymond de Beeld Architect
Structural: Herold Engineering
Mechanical: Rocky Point Engineering
Electrical: R.B. Engineering
Civil: Newcastle Engineering
Interior Design: Spaceworks
Building Envelope: Spratt Emanuel Engineering
Landscape: HB Lanarc
Code Equivalency: GHL Consultants