House of Fraser, Rushden Lakes


Designing the retailer’s first-ever green flagship and out-of-town store.

“Green, Local, Relevant”.

House of Fraser’s latest store is the anchor for Rushden Lakes, a new leisure and shopping centre in Northamptonshire set next to a wetlands nature reserve. It’s the retailer’s first out-of-town format, first ever sustainable flagship, and first full UK store opening for over a decade.

The store has high environmental standards and meets the BREEAM sustainable building certification. It has a 50% reduced Carbon Footprint compared to existing HoF stores of a similar size, thanks to its energy efficient design and operations.

The interior marks a lighter, brighter feel for HoF, connecting with the natural setting while embracing the industrial elements of the warehouse-like building. Our scope of work included masterplanning and circulation, façade design, interior architecture and lighting principles, and defining the architectural design principles and material palette for each department.


For the first time in a new HoF store, there is an exposed, open ceiling – giving a contemporary feel but in a refined way. HoF’s signature black appears in a new, lighter way through black track lighting, creating a keyline effect that helps to visually divide departments.

HoF Rushden Lakes uses eco-friendly ‘comfort cooling’ in place of standard air conditioning. Rather than mask this, we made its perforated air displacement walls a key part of the store’s main architectural palette. This adds texture and highlights that something functional can also be beautiful. The air displacement walls also mean no ceiling vents were required so ceilings are higher, creating an open feel in-store.


Standout features include a striking green ‘Living Wall’ made up of 2,000 plants which brings nature into the heart of the store. Over the escalators glides an ethereal sculptural installation by award-winning artists Celia Smith, depicting nearly 20 ‘birds’ – all species found in the local area – fashioned from recycled wire.


To localise the design scheme further, HoF commissioned local artists to create bespoke wallpapers based on natural themes, including a design by partner charity The Wildlife Trust’s illustrator Rachel Hudson.

The stunning beauty hall on the ground floor is already a beauty blogger favourite, featuring new brands such as Instagram-famous Deciem. Beauty Spotlight Brands, a new HoF-owned area, introduces trending and innovative new beauty products to keep beauty fans returning.

The in-store Caffe Nero coffee shop and Eden champagne bar are hugely proving hugely popular, encouraging customers to make HoF part of their day out at Rushden Lakes.


We're pleased to say that House of Fraser Rushden Lakes was a finalist for Best New Store at the Retail Week Awards 2018.

This our latest project with HoF, having collaborated as design partners for over two decades. In this time we have repositioned the brand as a premium high street department store, designed 30 stores in the UK, launched HoF overseas, and won dozens of retail design awards. Most recently, we assessed and evolved the brand ahead of its launch in China. Read more.