GEZE UK tops the ‘shopping list’ for Waitrose Flagship store

Like all new supermarkets, Waitrose’s flagship store in Chester required good access; entrances are prime positions for displays that influence buyer behaviour and need to allow multiple shoppers to enter and exit simultaneously even when manoeuvring trolleys or weighed down with bags. At the same time, entrances needed to complement the design of the building.

Architectural glazing specialists Glassolutions had created a unique curtain wall system that allows the glass façades to visually float. So when it came to the automatic doors for the Waitrose building, it needed a partner renowned for elegant, integrated solutions and GEZE UK fitted the bill perfectly.

Creating the gateway between the canal district and Chester’s new Central Business Quarter, the Waitrose building, which has been commended at the 2015 WAN Metal in Architecture Award, features large expanses of glass with bronze cladding to reflect the site’s industrial heritage.  Six sets of expansive glass sliding doors have been positioned on the upper and lower floors to provide convenient access and enhance sustainability through the creation of two atriums.

Each of the main entrances feature a pair of bi-parting automatic sliding glass doors powered by GEZE’s Slimdrive SL NT drives. Part of GEZE UK’s popular Slimdrive range, the SL NT automatic operators are ideal for elegant glass façades thanks to an operator height of just 7cm, which makes it almost invisible in elevation. Designed to be virtually silent in operation, the Slimdrive SL NT provides safe and easy access in high traffic areas, making them ideal for Waitrose’s busy entrances.

Upstairs the cafe terrace is accessed via a glass door with a bronze frame powered by a Slimdrive EMD-F electromechanical swing door operator.  Like the SL NT, at just 7cm high, the EMD-F operator is extremely discreet and sits neatly on the frame.  It provides assisted manual or automatic opening using the operating button with guaranteed constant opening and closing speed.

As well as the customer entrances, three storeroom doors have been automated to allow staff easy access when moving stock. These have been fitted with GEZE’s powerful but user friendly, single TSA 160 NT automatic swing door operators. The TSA 160 NT is an electronically controlled, hydraulic swing door system that provides an accessible and sustainable solution, making it ideal for heavy doors in high traffic areas. It is extremely reliable and requires little maintenance.

Kaz Spiewakowski, managing director of GEZE UK said: “Waitrose in Chester is a really imposing building. The glass curtain created by Glassolutions features few visible fittings so it was equally important that the automatic door closers provided the right combination of functionality and aesthetic design.”

The building itself has been designed with environment in mind. Glass has been chosen to maximise natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting, whilst perforated bronze fins provide solar shading from direct sunlight.