As Westfield prepares to throw open the doors of its White City shopping centre in west London next month, eyes are already turning to the developer’s next mall project on the other side of the capital.
Stratford City, due for completion in 2011, is being called ‘the gateway’ to east London’s Olympic Park. But Westfield admits it will not mirror the west London site, which has attracted a phalanx of luxury retailers including Louis Vuitton, Dior, Gucci and Prada.
The 73ha Stratford site has so far secured John Lewis, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer as its anchor stores, with room for 300 more local, national and international fashion, home and lifestyle brands. There are plans to subsidise rents for five years for incubator units.
‘The Stratford site is likely to be more like Bluewater in look, feel and tone than the White City mall,’ speculates Brink – worth director David Hurren.
Brinkworth has created eight stores at the White City site, including three flagship stores for Full Circle, All Saints and Sole Trader.
‘West London is wealthy and on the through-route to Heathrow, so it has everything going for it,’ Hurren continues. ‘In the current economic situation, everyone will want to see what happens with Stratford City over the next couple of years.’
Dalziel & Pow creative director David Dalziel says, ‘Stratford will need to find purpose and identity following the Olympics.’
He imagines a more mainstream family bias at Stratford City, and is hoping for ‘a more inspirational scheme than the very ordinary architecture of White City’. More than 35 per cent of households in Stratford fall within the 25- to 44-year-old bracket.
A spokeswoman for Westfield says, ‘At Stratford, we are working with an external group of design experts overseeing the scheme.’
Meanwhile, Design Week can reveal that FW Design has taken over the wayfinding for the White City site, which is due to open on 30 October. Portland Design had been engaged to create signage for the car park, but it has this week emerged that the group was sidelined completely in favour of FW Design (DW 10 January 2007).
‘The internal and car park wayfinding packages were to be kept separate as we didn’t think we could find a consultancy that could do both, but FW Design convinced us that it could take on both elements,’ says Westfield executive design architect Jason Forbes.
STRATFORD CITY’S VITAL STATISTICS
• The 73ha mixed-use development will form the main gateway to the 2012 Olympic Games
• It will contain 465 000m2 of commercial development, including 175 000m2 of retail and leisure space, anchored by John Lewis, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer
• Stratford City will feature about 300 local, national and international fashion, home and lifestyle brands