'Game changing' leisure destination opens in Oxford, with city's first public rooftop garden overlooking historic skyline

It offers a unique, world-class retail and leisure experience for the students, residents and tourists who visit Oxford each year
– Phil Durrans, Chapman Taylor director

Architects and masterplanners Chapman Taylor have completed a “game changing” leisure and retail destination in the historic city of Oxford, England.

Located at the west end of the city’s Queen Street, the 800,000 sq ft (74,300sq m) Westgate complex replaces a 1970s-built shopping centre, providing a contemporary fashion, film and food hub, and the city’s first public rooftop garden.

The project – the largest shopping and leisure development to open in the UK this year – is a joint venture between develop Landsec and The Crown Estate.

Working with engineering company Laing O’Rourke, the architects have delivered two curated public squares within the Westgate, linked by a network of covered streets, lanes and arcades that will host pop-up events and exhibitions.

A space next to the entrance features a glass public artwork by Swiss artist Daniela Schönbächler called The Lantern. The rooftop terrace is home to a bar offering panoramic views of Oxford’s famous spires.

More than 100 retail elements are spread across two levels, anchored by a John Lewis store.

A food court dining area called Westgate Social is located at the heart of the complex, with bars and restaurants placed alongside an indoor golf club and 500 communal seats. The space will host theatrical immersive experiences, including a ‘curiouser and curiouser’ event inspired by the novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which was written in Oxford.

Chapman Taylor developed the design using Building Information Modelling, which enabled direct data transfer of precast façade, structure and core designs into fabrication software used in off-site manufacturing facilities.

“The Westgate Oxford redevelopment is an exciting addition to the city centre,” said Chapman Taylor director Phil Durrans. “It offers a unique, world-class retail and leisure experience for the students, residents and tourists who visit Oxford each year.”

Oxford  Chapman Taylor  architecture  Westgate  John Lewis  Phil Durrans 
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Architects and masterplanners Chapman Taylor have completed a “game changing” leisure and retail destination in the historic city of Oxford, England. Located at the west end of the city’s Queen Street, the 800,000 sq ft (74,300sq m) Westgate complex replaces a 1970s-built shopping centre, providing a contemporary fashion, film and food hub, and the city’s first public rooftop garden. The project – the largest shopping and leisure development to open
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Westgate features Oxford's first public rooftop garden
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