The Westgate shopping centre in Oxford which includes the GHA-designed John Lewis was among the winners at last night’s RIBA South Awards, a week after receiving Project of the Year at the RICS South East Awards.
Judges commented “An innovative, collective approach has paid dividends on this brand new shopping complex featuring a department store, more than 100 retail units and a public roof terrace that enjoys panoramic views of Oxford’s historic skyline from its restaurants, bars and cafés. An exemplar of urban architectural detailing with a level of humanity in terms of materials, textures and space making. There is a certain grandeur that pays respect to Oxford and it has gifted the city of dreaming spires a distinctive breathing space.”
Designed to revitalise the Westgate Shopping Centre, the wider masterplan was designed by BDP and consists of a series of individual urban blocks, knitted together by a series of public spaces and urban fabric, allowing the shopping centre to operate as a single entity. GHA designed the John Lewis department store which forms the key retail component of the new masterplan, while other sections were designed by Allies and Morrison, Dixon Jones, and Panter Hudspith.
James Robinson, RIBA South/South East Regional Director said of the shortlist: “We are very lucky to have such outstanding buildings on the shortlist this year. It’s been a good year. The standard and variety of the entries is very high; from small private houses to the larger public and institutional buildings. The shortlist also demonstrates the fantastic amount of design talent in and around the regions, in practices both large and small, local and working nationally or indeed, internationally. The region has an amazing architectural heritage with buildings that have the capacity to amaze, inspire and improve our quality of life. This year’s RIBA Awards shortlist and the winners we are about to celebrate, show that they are still being built.”