Client: Granada Project: Donington Park Service Station, M1 near Derby Designer: BDG McColl
When Granada chooses designers, it wants more from them than just design, according to brand development director Paul Kelly. He looks for strategic thinking and the ability to translate that into creative design solutions when appointing a design team. Above all, Granada looks for consultancies which design ‘fit for purpose’, practical solutions.
For the Donington Park service station job, BDG McColl’s long working relationship with Granada (established by The Principals Group, which subsequently merged with BDG McColl), and understanding of its business ensured that it didn’t have to pitch for the job.
Granada is demanding of its consultancies, and likes to bring in designers at a very early stage to collaborate closely with them. ‘Granada is a very “pacey” organisation with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. We set tight deadlines for ourselves and expect those working with us to measure up,’ says Kelly.
At Donington, Granada wanted its designers to create a motorway service area for the 21st century – a ‘village by the roadside’ that would redress negative perceptions about service station facilities and cater for business, leisure and commuter customers.
The finished project cost £25m and incorporated a series of new concepts, including Scoop shop, Fresh Express and G Scape Amusements, within the open-plan amenities building as a continuous run of shop facias. A new signage system, also by BDG McColl, uses the G prominently on the forecourt totems to reinforce the Granada brand, and on a series of branded banners within the space.
Work is already underway on a similar ‘village by the roadside’ project at Doncaster North.