The Plaza, Oxford Street
A shopping centre, with huge potential being central London's only major shopping centre, but which was not meeting either the demands of the target market or the retailers.
Colman Architects developed the strategy to completely reconfigure the Centre creating a 22,000 sq ft unit in the basement (let to JJB Sports), relocation of the food court to the rear of the first floor with branded kiosks (this has been a huge success drawing customers to the full depth of the Centre), relocating escalators to improve sight lines and usage patterns on the first floor, removing the scenic lift from the atrium, and locating a 22,000 sq ft Holmes Place Health Club on the second floor. The result is a highly visible well used Centre with a massive increase in foot fall.
Colman Architects developed the strategy of the public entrance into the shopping centre. The doors were removed and replaced with sliding, folding doors so it became easier to move into the shopping centre. The smoked glass was replaced with clear glazing and the entry mall converted from single height to double height. This reveals the whole glory of the Plaza and the retail shops inside. It is very noticeable that people who are passing, stop and look in, and are drawn in by the attractive signature space inside. The signage and new canopy were designed to bring the message of the Plaza down to street level making it much more prominent as one moves along the street towards the entrance. The Practice also designed the Holmes Place Health Club on the top floor of the Centre.
The Plaza won the Refurbishment Award at the British Council of Shopping Centres Gold Awards 1997.