Client: Landsec and The Crown Estate
Status: Completed 2017
Budget: £25 million


"By combining fashion, food and film with inspiring rooftop views and bold architecture, all set within the sights and sounds of a historical British city, we believe we have created a truly game-changing shopping and leisure experience for everyone."
Hannah Milne, Director of Regional Retail, The Crown Estate.


Competition winning scheme in prime location
Westgate is a £440m retail and leisure development in the centre of the city, representing the single largest redevelopment in the Oxford’s history. 

Collaborative design
Working alongside Glenn Howells, Allies & Morrison and Dixon Jones with BDP as principle masterplanner, we won a standalone building in a pivotal location, forming the major frontage onto the new public square and the largest portion of the street facade visible to the south.

A multi-faceted design, responding to diverse contexts
A number of elements come together to read as a collection of buildings forming a significant city-block. A stone-clad lower ground storey, recognises the full level change across the site. This plinth varies in height to define a whole storey onto the new square, elsewhere dropping down to engage with the public realm by forming seating near to bus stops. 

Memorable facades framing retail shopfronts
A three-storey loggia provides a notable colonnade framing the shopfronts and limiting the span of the glazed roof. A brick-clad pavilion provides drama to the route up to roof level, where restaurants and terraces provide delightful views across Oxford’s historic city spires and beyond. 

Street facades are fragmented to humanise their bulk
The massing is articulated to read a series of modest-scaled buildings related to the Oxford historic centre, whilst creating enabling the adjacent John Lewis building to read as the dominant new destination in the development.

Masonry walling with extensive louvres to meet retail demands
The facades are clad in brick with colour-matched precast to enrich the detailing and conceal services. Bricks are cast into panels fabricated off-site to speed up time on site. Joints between the large panels are embraced as a positive detail integral to the elevations. As the brief was still developing beyond the planning submission, a facade was generated that contained both elements of human scale and that was also forgiving enough to accommodate extensive louvre banks to serve the retail units and the double-storey underground parking.

“It takes something special to deliver the UK’s most sustainable and forward-thinking shopping centre while remaining true to the layout and cherished listed buildings of a medieval city.”
Bert Martin, Development Director, Landsec.

Photography
Nick Caville,
Gareth Gardner,
Panter Hudspith Architects

Publications
2018
Architecture Today - Retail Collaboration
RIBA Journal - Let's all go shopping
2017
AJ Online - BDP Completes £278 million Westgate Oxford Retail Development
2008
Architecture Today Issue 191 - Reconnecting Cambridge: by Panter Hudspith & Chapman Taylor
 
Awards
2018 AJ100's Collaboration of the Year 2018 - shortlisted
building massing responds to the historic Oxford context - photo BDP
a modest townscape is created so adjacent John Lewis take precedence in scale
stepped massing, expressed string courses and vertical ribbed details brick-clad precast
windows into staircases and back of house corridor humanise and enrich the facades
colour-matched precast louvres serve the retail units and basement car park venting
loggia reduces span of glazed roof to main arcade onto leiden square - photo nick caville
stone plinth onto Leiden Square with loggia framing shopfronts - photo gareth gardner
journey to roof level has sense of drama, brick escalator pavilion focuses views upwards
lightweight restaurant pavilions at roof level complement the masonry mass below
Oxford skyline of spires form the backdrop to the restaurant terraces - photo nick caville
concept sketch of humanising and enriching elevations to rear of the retail units
site prior to development with brutalist architecture and surface-level parking