Starbucks, 13 – 14 High Street, City Centre, Bath
13-14 High Street is an unlisted terraced building, situated within the commercial core of the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. The site was formerly occupied by an earlier 19th century terrace, but the building is evidently a later 20th century infill in Bath stone ashlar to blend in with its terraced setting. The shopfront is similarly a modern intervention that draws from examples of historic shopfront ‘vernacular’ in use elsewhere within the city, with regular, symmetrical frontage windows framed with timber fluted pilasters, stall risers with inset panelling, and multi-pane fanlights. Whilst a later addition and therefore of no historic or architectural value, this shopfront as existing does somewhat positively respond to Bath’s distinctive shopfront character through its use of traditional materials and detailing, and as such it is recommended that any further frontage or signage changes should similarly adhere to a high quality of design, use of traditional materials and finishes, and a colour palette complementary with Bath’s natural Bath stone vernacular. Shop fronts should be bespoke to the unique characteristics of their context.
The shop unit has been vacant since 2019 with negative consequences for the visual amenities and sense of activity along the high street. We therefore welcome the opportunity for the re-use of this premises and associated public benefits of reactivating the street scene.
The proposed use of bespoke pinned signage in “aluminium composite and copper” appears to be appropriate. BPT is generally supportive of the use of metal pinned lettering in a quality finish where this would not result in unjustified harm to, or loss of, historic fabric. Further details regarding the proposed means of fixing the proposed lettering would be helpful.
From the proposed visuals, it appears that the existing timber frontage would be retained and repainted; we recommend that this aspect of proposals is suitably detailed with regards to the proposed paint sample and finish. A matte finish would be more in keeping with the heritage context and palette and avoids an overly shiny or reflective appearance. We encourage the case officer to clarify whether this material treatment extends to the shop fascia.