Portland Design is to create a wayfinding and signage scheme for Westfield London, the giant £1.6bn shopping centre development opening next year in west London.
The consultancy was selected for the project after winning a three-way pitch against Graphic Thought Facility and architect Benoy.
Its designs are being based on the notion of ‘visible yet invisible’, and will be applied to all directory panels, interactive kiosks, directional signage and concierge desks across the 150 000m2 site.
‘We were briefed to make sure the information is visible, while ensuring a very transparent depth of field,’ says Portland Design creative head of environmental graphics Lara Farnham. ‘The issue is about preserving sightlines and we could almost be talking about a holographic kind of treatment. The design we’re working to is based on a series of coloured layers representing different levels of the centre.’
The signs and panels will use a layered, semi-transparent material set at different depths. The units may be designed so that different components can be fitted and removed as retailers change within the centre.
‘The emotional side of the signage needs to be lifted up a little. We are trying to make the objects more sensual and may possibly use Corian [plastic],’ adds Farnham.
Located between the BBC headquarters and Shepherd’s Bush, Westfield London is due to open in early 2008 as part of the larger White City development.
US-based landscape specialist Martha Schwartz Partners has been appointed to design a landscaping scheme for the whole area.
The main shopping centre will also feature an undercover luxury brands zone, Westfield Village, designed by Michael Gabellini of architect Gabellini Sheppard Associates. It will house international luxury brand outlets, as well as a spa and top-end restaurants.
The overall site will offer 150 000m2 of retail, restaurants and leisure facilities, as well as a gymnasium and cinema. An atrium called The Pavilion will be used to showcase art, culture and fashion from across London.
As part of the White City Project, London Underground is extensively remodelling the Shepherd’s Bush Central Line station, under an architectural plan by Tony Meadows Associates.
A rebuild of the ticket hall area and staff accommodation is being funded and constructed by Westfield.
London Underground is working on a congestion relief scheme and the station modernisation is being run as a public-private partnership.
- Four anchor flagship stores – Marks &Spencer, Debenhams, Waitrose and Next, plus more than 265 smaller outlets, a 14 screen cinema, a health and beauty area and a gymnasium
- Westfield operates six other shopping centres across the UK, as well as sites in Australia, New Zealand and the US
- Portland Design is also working on wayfinding for Westfield Derby