Landsec and The Crown Estate open retail and leisure destination at the heart of city center.The £440 million construction, which is 93% occupied, is anchored by a 140,000 sq ft John Lewis and includes stores from Primark, Uniqlo, Ted Baker, Victoria’s Secret Pink, Tommy Hilfiger, and MAC.
John Lewis opens its experience-led store in the Westgate shopping center. One-fifth of the store is dedicated to services and experiences, such as a nail and brow bar in the 4,500 sq ft beauty hall, personalization stations, personal styling for men and women, and workshops to teach consumers how to use new devices: from smart home tech to camera equipment.
Westgate Oxford is one of the most sustainable retail objects in the country. An innovative energy circle delivers heating and cooling to shops and restaurants, handling air source heat pumps in place of conventional boilers. This system bypasses the use of natural gas, keeping costs down for retailers and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
The creation of the shopping mall created almost 1,000 jobs, and Aspire Oxford generated employment programmes in development and consumer service. The center itself will create 3,500 full-time retail jobs.
Scott Parsons, Managing Director, Retail at Landsec stated, “In Westgate Oxford, we have embraced the challenge of creating a best in class, sustainable development that meets the changing demands of modern customers while being sympathetic to the setting of a historical city.
“Delivering an outstanding experience for visitors and retailers alike, with a dynamic combination of retail, leisure and food and beverage, has been key to attracting great brands to the center and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors from Oxford and beyond.”
Four different architects worked together with master planners, BDP, to create separate blocks of the development, drawing inspiration from the neighboring areas. Glenn Howells Architects was inspired by the Bodleian Library, while Panter Hudspith Architects took its motivation from typical Oxfordian architectural pieces such as the impressive colonnades. Morrison and Allies drew on the evocative oak paneling in some college dining rooms and Dixon Jones, responsible for the Bonn Square façade, looked to Campion Hall on Brewer Street nearby.