Retail, Leisure & Tourism
Chelsfield, Westfield

Setting new standards

Westfield London is recognised as one of the most significant urban regeneration developments in Western Europe.

Opened in October 2008, the development welcomed over two million visitors in its first three weeks of trading and is now established as a celebrated architectural and commercial success for London.

The £1.6bn scheme houses approximately 150,000m2 of Retail, Leisure and Food and Beverage, with access to two overground train stations, one underground station and a bus station. It can accommodate parking for up to 4,500 vehicles.

The brief was ‘To create a building with a sense of place, capable of standing alone in one of the world’s greatest cities’.

Consequently, Benoy’s creative response looked to compliment the fabric of the city yet allow Westfield London to have its own identity and position within the capital; and in doing so, set a new benchmark for retail design across Europe.

Retail theatre

The retail architecture of Westfield London intended to deliver the backdrop for the retail theatre within.

Through Benoy’s design, a heightened spatial quality and broader sense of scale has been introduced the retail environment. This was achieved, in part, through the roof design which has allowed natural light to permeate the interior spaces. The asymmetrical pattern of the roof, with its opaque and transparent panels, was designed by tracking the movement of the sun, maximising and diffusing natural light to create a dappled effect within the interior.

The 'Wintergarden’ sits at the heart of the project; a central civic space which can play host to international events and entertainment. Tree-like columns have been designed within this dramatic section to support the sweeping glass roof above. Below them, a diverse dining scene can be found along the multiple levels and bridges which overlook the performance area.

The architectural language continued throughout the retail mall is one of generous proportions and perpetuates a sense of space and visual transparency. This has created an elegant backdrop for the high fashion retailers with double-height shopfronts, some featuring mezzanine levels, which offer maximum merchandising exposure for the brands.  

Regeneration process

Westfield London was constructed on an 18ha brownfield site largely occupied by London Underground buildings and the sidings where trains were historically stabled. The site, which still had remnants of the 1908 White City Exhibition, was completely transformed as the train stalls were placed underground, and other services were relocated to make way for the redevelopment.

Shepherds Bush Underground Station was rebuilt, allowing easy pedestrian access to the new development via a new street. To the north, Wood Lane Station, together with a new bus station, further transformed the site’s access to the wider city. 

Westfield London was masterplanned to create a scheme that is highly accessible and integrates with the urban fabric. The completed development has brought new life to a brownfield site and the scheme is now considered to be one of the major attractions London has to offer.