In pictures: Stevenage Costco build chronicled by Knebworth photographers

PUBLISHED: 14:04 30 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:04 30 August 2018

Stevenage Costco: an internal view showing the break through from the warehouse to the rear loading bays. Picture: Indigoplum

Stevenage Costco: an internal view showing the break through from the warehouse to the rear loading bays. Picture: Indigoplum

Striking photographs show the progress so far as Stevenage’s John Lewis depot is turned into a Costco wholesale megastore.

Stevenage Costco: The grade II-listed roof in the main storage area. Picture: IndigoplumStevenage Costco: The grade II-listed roof in the main storage area. Picture: Indigoplum

The behind-the-scenes shots come from Knebworth photographers Indigoplum, who have been contracted to chronicle the 56-week build off Gunnels Wood Road on behalf of Costco’s head office in the US.

Indigoplum’s photographs of the build by Sheffield-based firm JF Finnegan are taken every Wednesday morning. Post-production and uploading is done later that day, and every Thursday they are looked over at Costco’s headquarters near Seattle.

Indigoplum head photographer Simon Lane told the Comet they needed to replicate the angles as closely as possible each week to help Costco bosses monitor progress in Cavendish Road from halfway around the world.

He said: “As well as the site progress photography, we’re looking forward to taking the photos at the two official launches – as well as the architectural photography of the final construction of the site.”

Stevenage Costco: The original John Lewis entrance and offices. Picture: IndigoplumStevenage Costco: The original John Lewis entrance and offices. Picture: Indigoplum

As well as new-build areas, parts of the 14.5-acre site have grade II-listed concrete roofing – designed by noted architect Felix Candela in such a way that they are set to be a feature of interest in the new Costco.

Demolition is now taking place to remove the old John Lewis loading bays, leaving the roof intact. The original reception and office building will be completely destroyed and replaced with a new entrance.

Indigoplum obtained a site plan and, after visiting, mapped camera positions and angles onto it. Notes containing lens and technical data were drawn up and shared between the team of three photographers, led by Simon.

“Each site visit entails us walking approximately two and a half miles in total,” said Simon.

“Because of such large scales, we carry site radios and are in constant contact with the demolition teams so that access to demolition areas can be carried out safely.

“It’s tiring, but at the same time it’s interesting to see how the changes are starting to develop.”

The 14,030-square-metre Stevenage Costco will have parking for 611 cars and include an on-site petrol station. It is set to open in July 2019.

The closest existing Costco to Stevenage is its Watford branch, which also houses Costco UK’s head office.

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