Westgate Shopping Centre
Steintec products have paved the way for the transformation of some of the UK’s most prestigious shopping malls.
The latest was at Oxford Westgate, which sits at the heart of the world-renowned university city. The landmark Centre re-opened its doors to the public at the end of October 2017 after a major, nine-month facelift delivered by contractors Vetter Construction, part of Laing O’Rourke, for its client Landsec and The Crown Estates.
Oxford Westgate delivers 800,000 square feet of retail and leisure facilities.
Described as one of the most sustainable retail centres ever built, Oxford Westgate will transform the shopping experience for some 200,000 residents 30,000 students and 9.5 million tourists that visit annually, while complementing the City’s outstanding architectural heritage. The open-air nature of the design is environmentally friendly, reducing emissions by eliminating the need for heating or air conditioning.
The evolution of the City’s retail offering has long been hampered by the medieval street layout, its historic buildings and diverse land ownership. The City has a projected annual spend locally from residents worth £400m, which increases to £700m when tourists and commuters are included. With only one other shopping centre in the city, Oxford Westgate is expected to be popular from the word go, bringing new public spaces to Oxford as well as a curated mix of retail stores, boutiques and leisure outlets
The development includes more than 6,000 square metres of indoor streets and walkways over three storeys which were paved with granite slabs and setts using the full-range of tuffbau products: tuffbed; tufftop and tuffbond. This included two colours of jointing mortar for aesthetics - dark and mid-grey.
A highlight of the transformation was a hard landscaped roof terrace with an attractive planted garden feature to be enjoyed by shoppers using restaurants and shops on this level.
This was the UK’s largest indoor project of its kind and demonstrated the effectiveness of using forced action mixers rather than silos for a job of this scale where large areas of paving had to be completed quickly and efficiently.
As part of its added value services, Steintec supplied mixers and grout cleaning machines free of charge, delivering on-site technical advice and practical support through a dedicated project team.
On time deliveries were critical to the success of the project as there was limited space on site for large consignments of construction materials and access in the middle of a busy city was difficult.
Supported by the success of paving on the Oxford Westgate project, Vetter has made a decision to use Steintec products for its next retail project at St James in Edinburgh, which started in October.
Before Oxford Westgate, the tuffbau range was used by contractors McDermotts to set paving at the out of town shopping centre at Bicester Village, also in Oxfordshire. The designer outlet destination was being extended to cater for increased visitors.
A number of retail areas were also paved using tuffbau as part of the Hull transformation last year. Eurovia contractors there took advantage of the early trafficking properties of tuffset G to pave the doorways of shops and cafes overnight, allowing them to open next morning with minimal disruption.
And in Ealing, as well as using tuffbau grouts and mortars for paving, the local council took advantage of Steintec’s unique Weiss paving protection and cleaning regime.
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