Originally opened in 1972, the Westgate Centre in Oxford has been the city's main shopping destination for over 40 years. The £440 million redevelopment of the site by Westgate Oxford Alliance - a partnership between Land Securities and The Crown Estate - opened in October 2017 and includes nearly 800,000 sq feet of retail, restaurant and leisure space, with new thoroughfares and public spaces integrated into the urban fabric of Oxford city centre. The scheme is a key part of the regeneration of the city, creating high quality buildings designed by world-class architects and providing more than 3,400 new full-time equivalent jobs.
Furnitubes designers worked with landscape architects LDA Design to develop a series of planting and seating solutions for the rooftop terraces, designed around a kitchen garden concept and creating a series of unique outdoor spaces for 12 bars and restaurants and offering impressive views of the Oxford skyline and the countryside beyond. Themed areas include the sinuous Crinkle Crankle, a Vegetable Garden and the more formal Garden Court as well as the Kitchen Garden itself. Planters were manufactured predominantly in steel, some with additional timber cladding and others with integrated seating and lighting.
For Westgate’s ground level arcades and spaces Furnitubes again worked with LDA in the development of their punt seating concept, based on the square-ended long flat-bottomed boat used for recreation on the nearby Thames. Broken down into 6-seater modules, each unit comprises a rotationally-moulded plastic base in bold colours reminiscent of those seen on real punts, topped with solid and slatted timber platforms. The end units have been designed to convert into part-seat / part-planter in future. The size of the modules is designed to allow them to be readily moved around the site depending on the availability of space to