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Westgate, Oxford

For our final two store reviews we head out of London to one of the UK’s most cultural cities, Oxford, where a state of the art shopping centre has recently transformed its retail offer.

Shopping centres have become an important facet within society with the retail and leisure combination top of everyone’s agenda. High streets are definitely at the mercy of these super malls. A walk around any one of our nation’s finest developments will reveal just how popular they have become. Seemingly regardless of our country’s current financial insecurity, people shop, dine and play at every opportunity.

Oxford’s retail offer had remained static for some time until Westgate opened its doors launching a fresh influx of brands and at the same time opening up the area to the West of the city, bringing with it much needed investment. It’s not the biggest site, yet its design is incredibly effective fusing indoors and outdoors; linking a number of little used streets to three impressive glass atriums, an eclectic food court and a terrace that affords views over the historic skyline.

As retail destinations go Westgate has an easy, relaxed feel. On a rainy day you have the benefit of glazedroofs overhead, yet fresh air to keep you cool as you wander around. A variety of architectural styles and materials enhances the informal ambiance and was achieved through a collaborative approach, involving a number of architectural practices. The evocative terrace will be a major attraction on a warm summer’s evening – a great place to meet up and watch the sun set over Oxford.

BDP were the lead architect for the scheme and ensured that the multiple building styles fused together and were seamlessly stitched into the City’s historic fabric. A great place to spend a leisurely afternoon! Westgate is a joint venture between Landsec and The Crown Estate.



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