A Shopping Centre with New Dimensions

At the end of 2008, the Westfield London Shopping Centre was opened, an indoor shopping centre whose dimensions in area and exploitation potential can only be described as ‘spectacular’. It is the largest urban shopping centre ever built in Europe – a city within a city. That this shopping centre has been connected with its own subway station on the London transport network suggests the magnitude of this intra-urban consumer world.

The internal life of this empire of progressive experience offers an enormous wealth of shopping and recreational possibilities, to include spas, sports and culinary facilities. Westfield integrates exclusive designer boutiques and fashion shops with supermarkets and dry cleaning stores, all under one roof. You can also find banks and pharmacies there, as well as cinemas and restaurants, whose international diversity offers a vast selection to satisfy the tastes of its visitors.

The idea of an all-encompassing shopping experience is not new, but in the aesthetic and functional development of the internal infrastructure, the segment design, the choice of materials and technical implementation of innovative ideas were translated into formats that are best described as ‘avant-garde’. The fact that in a complex of this magnitude, the floor-plan, orientation signs and information platforms are fundamentally important factors goes without saying. The futuristic design of the individual objects, which fit perfectly into the overall structure and are impressive with their extravagant design, is particularly fascinating.

The international gastronomic spectrum of the restaurant area corresponds to the individualistic and differentiated composition of the corresponding counter areas. Here, too, the interplay of stylistic unity and distinctive features was resolved to perfection.

As long-standing specialist in the processing of solid surface materials and in the field of high-quality shop-fitting, Rosskopf + Partner has wide-ranging experience that is well-documented by a number of impressive projects. International contracts of considerable capacity have already been successfully completed. With their participation at the Westfield London Shopping Centre, Rosskopf + Partner was again able to put its outstanding engineering expertise to the test and, once again, with significant success, completed one of the largest projects in its history.

Customer

The Westfield Group is an Australian real estate company based in Sydney, which owns and operates 119 shopping centres in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Since its founding in 1960, the company has developed the world's largest retail property group listed on the stock exchange and operates with over 10 million square feet of retail space.

In 2008, the group opened the largest urban indoor shopping centre in Europe – the Westfield London Shopping Centre.

The Westfield Group manages all aspects of the development of their shopping centres – design and construction, management and marketing, and leasing. The work of architects, designers and other planning participants are all coordinated from the Retail Design Westfield planning office.

Architecture

The planners of the Westfield Shopping Centre are prestigious International Benoy Architects from London. Under the 7,000 square-meter steel and glass roof structure is a shopping centre with impressive dimensions and a smart interior, whose ingenious approach provides visitor orientation with outstanding aesthetic standards.

State-of-the-art orientation elements, such as interactive or back-lit signs and information desks with integrated touch screens, offer visitors assistance in locating their current position and searching for shops inside the complex. In addition to the use of modern technologies in the development of these elements, the aesthetic factor was substantial. The design speaks an elegant language that affords a congruous style that is significantly uniform in providing directions. The individual elements are impressive in their unusual designs and present a futuristic science-fiction-like aspect in the present.

The free-standing sales counters in the open spaces of the interior are designed to be a perfect fusion of individual characteristics and aesthetic uniformity. Innovatively modelled showcases act as showy optical elements for the presentation of commercials from various trading partners.

The individual desires of each client – the design and detailed solutions – were taken into consideration to construct the counter systems in the restaurant areas. Here, especially, the results of the interplay of perfect design selection and sophisticated processing using decorative relief milling present themselves as an ingenious ‘core’ to enhance the dining experience.

The London design studio, Pearson Lloyd, designed the orientation signs and display cases; in cooperation with CBS Outdoors Ltd. and BF Technology Ltd., they were provided and technically implemented by Rosskopf + Partner. Due to its optimum possibilities of translucence and thermal shaping, solid surface material was selected for manufacturing all of these elements. The ingenious results in forming these exceptional objects can be seen throughout the centre. 

Rosskopf + Partner was involved in developing the prototypes, which were fabricated by their highly qualified in-house engineering department. Individual objects were designed that called for progressive solutions that previously had never been produced in this form anywhere in the world. Although the scale of the project was enormous and required meeting extremely high standards, Rosskopf + Partner took on the challenge with seasoned professionalism and contributed significantly to its successful implementation.

Material

In the area of interior design, the flexibility and creativity possible using solid surface material is unrivalled in the sector of available materials. The largest volume of solid surface material ever used in a project in the UK was used in the construction of the Westfield London Shopping Centre.

Rosskopf + Partner was the ideal company to help this project succeed. Innovative solutions for individual fixtures, lighting and material combinations were found and the most miniscule details to satisfy individual customer requirements were implemented.

Internal orientation

Ring-shaped direction signs with integrated LCD touch screens were developed to provide intelligent interactive orientation within the centre. The modules, which are on the leading edge of such technology, demonstrate significant three-dimensional shaping of the solid surface material and appear to be formed from a single casting. Two information desks constructed with futuristic designs and interactive LCD touch screens enhance the shop search possibilities within the shopping mall. Rosskopf + Partner was able to resolve the challenging task of integrating technological elements into very extravagantly shaped objects. Several backlit signs with printed panels and a series of signs providing directions to the toilet facilities complete the comprehensive orientation system.

Free-Standing Sales Counters and Displays

For each of the open sales counters, a pylon and a medium-height free-standing anchor wall were manufactured using the solid surface material HI-MACS® by LG Hausys. The individual logo for each manufacturer provided contrast to the single design theme that was built into the sales counters throughout the mall. The display cases, which house flat panel screens for the presentation of commercials, are splatter-resistant to liquids and equipped with an integrated outlet pipe to protect the display screens.

Construction Information Board

Architects: sundry
Design wayfindings + displays: Pearson Lloyd, London
Building owner: Westfield Group
Material: Solid surface material HI-MACS®
Location: London, UK
Period: 2008
Photography: Michael Zirn