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Glenn Howells wins John Lewis jackpot

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Glenn Howells Architects has bagged the contract to design the John Lewis anchor store within the proposed £400 million redevelopment of the Westgate shopping centre in Oxford

It is understood the practice saw off bids from David Chipperfield Architects, ACME and Panter Hudspith to land the centrepiece 9,300m² anchor store within the much-anticipated scheme.

The AJ100 outfit is the first of a quartet of ‘big name’ architectural practices to be appointed to design the four main buildings within the BDP-designed masterplan.

The plans for the three-storey shop include a customer café and a customer collection entrance located in the basement of the centre’s new car park.

Backed by the Westgate Alliance, a joint venture between Land Securities and The Crown Estate which bought the centre in 2010, the 5.6 ha project is due to be submitted for outline planning this autumn and could open by Christmas 2017.

The proposals to overhaul the 40-year old centre, a chunk of which will be retained, will be unveiled next month as part of a major public consultation programme.

Sara Fuge for the Westgate Alliance said: ‘We want to ensure that our proposals for the Westgate Centre are sensitive to the city’s history, while providing a world-class shopping destination that we can all be proud of. ‘

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