Waitrose & Partners Comely Bank – Café Extension

2018 & 2019

Architectural Design

This conceptual project aims to create a design for a cafe extension to the Waitrose & Partners supermarket at Comely Bank.

I created this conceptual design as a conversation starter to reconsider the use of space in and outside the store, to provide a much sought after cafe.

First I surveyed the extent of the land under the ownership of Waitrose, I completed a photographic survey of the area. Then proceeding into concept design, my self-imposed brief was to add a single storey extension to the southern elevation of the building (fronting Comely Bank Road). The impact on the store’s selling space was to be minimal.

The design solution proposes internal reconfigurations to remove the Community Room and realign the Health & Beauty section by removing a single checkout. This allows for the creation of a kitchen and serving area with some seating. The majority of the seating is contained within the new 4m by 20m single storey extension. Large panels of glazing invite light into the store and the café creating a warm and bright environment. This is accompanied by a sand coloured brick facade with bronze or gold detailing to the roofline. The new eastern elevation of the extension features sliding doors, opening onto a terrace. An existing fire exit is replaced in the western elevation to comply with regulations.

The café (including kitchen) occupies 160m2 of floor space (145m2 exc. kitchen). Up to 72 covers can sit inside with a maximum of 20 outside.

A premium industrial look has been adopted inside with a palette of light grey polished concrete, brass, birch plywood and black coated aluminium. Customers are welcomed into a central circulation area around a self-service counter before heading over to the main ordering and collection area.

The L-shaped design of the cafe is such that portions could still be closed to allow for community or event use, though the proposals largely seek to monetise an underused space.

Planning challenges would include obtaining class 3 use and erecting an extension next to a conversation area. The design however uses a similar colour palette to the buildings opposite and its low profile would minimise any visual impact. It would be an improvement over the existing vacant land.

All in all, I am satisfied that my design meets the brief to create a café with minimal impact to selling space. Only one bay of health and beauty is lost along with a single checkout that is rarely used outside of Christmas trading.


  • Surveying
  • Concept Design
  • Planning Policy Analysis


  • V-Ray Next Render
  • Sketchup
  • Photoshop

Internal shop front
View from an aisle
The view from the extension back into the existing building
Comely Bank Road elevation
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