The Piazza, Mercia Marina

Restaurant, Retail and Office Development, Willington

The Brief
On the back of receiving a national LABC award for the Boardwalk Development at Mercia Marina bi Design was given the brief to redesign the original Piazza concept to sit seamlessly along side an award-winning building but to also provide enough office floor area to create Bionical’s Headquarters. The new building needed to be flexible on all floors so retailers and businesses could have flexibility on the amount of floor area they required. The new building needed to make better use of the top two floors of the tower.

Our solution
With the Boardwalk building, bandstand and customer car park in operation it was essential to design a building that could be constructed with minimal disruption to the current businesses but created enough floor area without filling the peninsula. The existing Boardwalk building is two storeys with a low-pitched roof. Part of the design challenge was to create enough upper floor accommodation for the offices without making the building too dominant over the Boardwalk.
The roof pitch of the new design was steepened to create a second floor within the roof. Three wings were created around the central tower with glazed gable ends to each wing to compliment the Boardwalk and add views to the 2nd floor. Adding a second floor to the building made the tower far more functional as there was only one smaller top floor. The roof of the tower was inspired by the bandstand which has a five-sided projecting gable roof. The tower is similar with 4 projecting gables. The three wings connected to the tower below three of the four gables leaving the front gable exposed as a dominant feature of the external piazza area.

The outcome
The Design seamlessly interacts with the peninsula and the existing bandstand and Boardwalk building. The use of matching materials including the specially designed heat-treated timber cladding and Rivendale slates helped tie the structures together. Sat on the peninsula the building has views all the way around the Marina. Each wing offers very different views looking out towards the boats and surrounding landscape. The use of angles in both buildings allowed them to be positioned close to one another without dominating the landscape.


bi Design are pleased to announce our shortlisting as a finalist for the East Midlands LABC Building Excellence Awards 2019.

The Piazza development at Mercia Marina will be judged in the Best Large Commercial project category.

The shortlisting comes on the back of The Boardwalk development at Mercia Marina which was the East Midlands and National winner for Best Small Commercial project in 2015.

The awards take place on Friday 17th May.