Grand Opening of the Westgate Shopping Centre, Oxford.
The Westgate Shopping Centre, Oxford has officially opened today – Tuesday 24th 2017. BHC were appointed by Laing O’Rourke to supply and install 7,000 tonnes of structural steelwork for the redevelopment of the 1970’s style shopping centre.
Prior to BHC commencing work onsite, the existing reinforced concrete shopping centre was partially demolished, leaving three quarters of the structure to be integrated into the new structure. The redeveloped section of the centre directly connects to the new covered shopping street.
BHC were responsible for erecting 3 x three storey extensions including a basement which will be used as a service yard. Due to the size of the delivery vehicles that will be unloading at the Westgate Shopping Centre, it was necessary for the basement to have clear, open span spaces. BHC fabricated 3 large steel trusses weighing approximately 33 tonnes each and measuring 25m in length.
The 3 new buildings are linked by a series of steel bridges connecting the second and third floors. The longest bridge erected by BHC spans 22m across the main covered street. The new steel framed buildings have been erected around a 7.5m x 7.8m grid pattern whereas the car park structure follows a 7.5m x 15.6m grid. Steel framed construction was chosen for this project as it offers flexibility as the design allows for columns to be removed in order to create larger stores to suit tenant requirements.
The new shopping centre features a 142,000 sq ft John Lewis as its anchor department store, 125 shops, restaurants, cafes and a 5-screen cinema.