The architects selected to redesign the Whitgift Centre and Centrale were named today as London firms Allies and Morrison and Leonard Design Architects, as a brief news story in Property Week suggested that the joint scheme between developers Hammerson and Westfield now carries a £1.5 billion price tag – a cool 50 per cent hike since Boris Johnson claimed credit for sealing the deal as recently as January.
However you cut it, it amounts to the most expensive Croydon facelift in history.
Allies and Morrison, the Blackfriars-based practice, have previously worked on the refurbishment of the Royal Festival Hall, a building and public realm area that dates from the 1950s where the architects’ work might be instructive in how they could approach some of Croydon town centre’s public areas.
They also worked on the Media Centre at the Olympic Park, which anyone who worked there last summer will tell you was little more than a pretty basic use of a vast shed-like building.
The other firm, Leonard Design Architects, did much work on Stratford City, the impressive Westfield-owned centre that is the gateway to London’s Olympic Park. Less auspiciously, Leonard are also linked to Westfield Bradford, which is also known as a decade-old hole in the ground.
There was nothing on LDA’s website today to give any indication of what their design intentions might be: the second news item is about the delivery of a table football game to their Nottingham office. Which clearly is more important than a chance for their company to be part of Croydon’s £1.5billion makeover.
Given the effective merger of the current Whitgift and Centrale centres, speculation is gathering over what name will be given to the development, with some smart money going on “Westfield Croydon”, though here at Inside Croydon Towers, we think Hammersfield has a special ring to it.
Hammerson and Westfield say that they will work with the community during the build period of the shopping centre to devise a final name for the development. What name would you give to the new centre?
The Westfield-Hammerson joint venture, Property Week reports, has been named the Croydon Partnership.
Westfield’s planning application for outline consent is expected next month, and they will then work together with Allies and Morrison and Leonard Design Architects to draw up detailed designs.
Westfield will lead the design and construction element of the project, while Hammerson will continue to manage Centrale and will take over asset management of the entire scheme once completed.
- Hammerson and Westfield agree to work together in Croydon
- Mary Portas, Westfield, Bradford and a £1bn hole in the ground
- Boris’s cunning plan: too high, too many, too central
- Inside Croydon: For comment and analysis about Croydon, from inside Croydon
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