Westfield London

Westfield London is a shopping centre in White City, London, UK, in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. The centre was developed by the Westfield Group at a cost of £1.6bn,[2][3] on a site bounded by the West Cross Route (A3220), the Westway (A40) and Wood Lane (A219). It opened on 30 October 2008 and became the largest covered shopping development in the capital, dethroning the Whitgift Centre in Croydon.[4][5] After further investment and expansion, it became the largest shopping centre in Europe in March 2018.[6]

Westfield London
LocationLondon, W12
United Kingdom
Opening date30 October 2008 (2008-10-30)
DeveloperWestfield Group
OwnerWestfield Corporation
ArchitectBenoy & Westfield Design Architects, Buchan Group Executive Architects, Ian Richie Architects (masterplan) [1]
No. of stores and services450
No. of anchor tenants6
Total retail floor area242,000 m² (2,600,000 ft²)
No. of floors5
Parking5,500 spaces
Public transit access Shepherd's Bush; Shepherd's Bush Market; Wood Lane; White City
Shepherd's Bush

The centre is in the White City district, where several other large-scale development projects are under way or in the planning stages. The development is on a large brownfield site, part of which was once the location of the 1908 Franco-British Exhibition; the initial site clearance demolished the set of halls still remaining from the exhibition (their cheap-to-build, white-painted blank facades are said to be the origin of the name "White City"). Much of the site was in use as a railway depot excavated to a lower level and built over.

The centre is noted for its size: it has a retail floor area of 150,000 m² (1.62 million ft²), the equivalent of about 30 football pitches. At the time of its opening it was reported to be the second largest commercial centre in the UK (after MetroCentre near Newcastle).[4] After an extension opened in March 2018, the centre became the largest in the UK and Europe.

The nearest London Underground stations are Wood Lane, White City, Shepherd's Bush and Shepherd's Bush Market.

The nearest rail station is Shepherd's Bush, served by suburban London Overground services and by longer distance Southern services between Milton Keynes Central and East Croydon.

The mall is anchored by John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Next and Primark.


The initial plan for a shopping centre at this location was developed by a consortium, the largest company involved being the UK division of Australian property company Multiplex. However, due to heavy financial losses in other ventures, including the construction of the new Wembley Stadium, Multiplex was forced to sell its stake to another Australian company (and competitor), Westfield Group.[7]

The development was built by Westfield Construction, the developer's own construction arm and was delivered on schedule.[8] Robert Bird Group were the structural engineers for the job.[9] The roof was designed by Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineering (Stuttgart, Germany).[10] The project took five years to build, employing 8,000 people.[11] The Project Director was John Roberts.

There was a structural/organisational challenge relating to the White City depot of the Central line (Underground) railway. It covered a large proportion of the site, and had to be kept fully operational while being excavated beneath and relocated bit by bit at a lower level to allow the centre to make use of its previous location.

There were also considerable precautions needed due to the expectation of finding unexploded bombs from raids on a local munitions factory during the World War II blitz.


On 16 February 2012, Hammersmith and Fulham Council approved a 700,000 sq ft extension to the north of the existing site. Building work began in 2014,[12] and the extension has already opened in three phases. The first phase opened in March 2018, and the final phase opened in October 2018. Once the extension was completed, Westfield London's size increased to 2.6 million square feet (240,000 m2), making it the largest shopping centre in Europe.[13]

The north side of the extension is bounded by a railway viaduct, and the south side of the extension is adjunct to the original shopping centre. The extension replaces an industrial estate which previously occupied the area, divided by Ariel Way. The extension includes 51,000 square metres (550,000 sq ft) of retail space including a 70,000 sq ft Primark store, offices, new streets, public spaces, and approximately 1,522 new homes. The development ranges from four to twelve storeys high with one building of 20 storeys.

The work also includes modifications to Shepherds Bush Overground Station, relocation of the bus station and reuse of the Dimco Buildings, and pedestrian links on the east side of the site connecting Hammersmith & Fulham with Kensington and Chelsea.[14][15][16]

The department store John Lewis is the occupant of an 'anchor store' within the extension. Kidzania, a part of the extension, opened in 2015.[17][18][19]

Constituent sections

Retail area

The centre was opened to the public on 30 October 2008 by Bethan Garratt, CEO of Westfield Group (2004–2012). It has a retail floor area of 150,000 m² (1.615m ft²).[2] The completed centre features around 320 stores, including AllSaints, Apple, Bershka, Boots, Bose, Coast, Cotton On (includes RUBI and Factorie), Debenhams, Dorothy Perkins, Dwell, Early Learning Centre, Ernest Jones, French Connection, Gerry Weber, Hackett, HMV, Hollister Co., House of Fraser, H.Samuel, Jaeger, Kurt Geiger, Lego, Mamas & Papas, Mango, Marks & Spencer, Next, Nomination, Oakley, Reiss, River Island, schuh, Starbucks Coffee, Tesla, Topshop, Uniqlo, the multiplex cinema Vue, Waitrose and Zara.

The development also includes a high-end retail area called The Village. The area includes brands Burberry, De Beers, Georg Jensen, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Mulberry, Myla, Tiffany & Co and Versace.

Vue digital cinema

Vue opened a seventeen-screen cinema on 12 February 2010,[20] including five 3-D-enabled screens, with a seating capacity of almost 3,000.

Transport connections

The Westfield centre opening coincided with the completion of several major London transport infrastructure projects, which now serve the centre and the surrounding area:[21]


This substantial new development has been criticised. The impact Westfield London will have is not yet fully understood, but it is anticipated that the centre will attract trade that otherwise might have gone to the already busy West End, and may also have a strong negative impact on nearby Kensington High Street.[29] The development has also pushed up rents in the Shepherds Bush area, which is expected to impact on the value retail offer in the area, with many businesses as well as the Shepherds Bush Market expected to suffer.[30] Others have criticised the centre's "clone stores".[31]

See also


  1. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 30 September 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. "Westfield flagship opens in London" (Press release). Westfield Group press release. 30 October 2007. Archived from the original on 2 November 2008. Retrieved 12 November 2008.
  3. "1st Quarter 2007 – Review" (PDF). Westfield Group. 8 May 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 March 2009. Retrieved 12 November 2008. In a later document published in 2008, the WDC cost was estimated at £1.1bn - see "Westfield Group, Half Year Results Presentation, 30 June 2008" (PDF). Westfield Group. 27 August 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 March 2009. Retrieved 17 October 2008.
  4. "Enormous shopping complex opens". BBC. 30 October 2008. Archived from the original on 2 November 2008. Retrieved 30 October 2008.
  5. Moore, Matthew (30 October 2008). "Westfield shopping centre - Europe's largest mall - opens". ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 11 April 2018. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  6. "Westfield London is now the largest shopping centre in Europe". The Independent. 20 March 2018. Archived from the original on 10 April 2018. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  7. "Bleak day as Multiplex sells 'trophy asset'". Archived from the original on 18 January 2016.
  8. "Structural Systems". structuralsystems.com.au. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
  9. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 February 2011. Retrieved 18 January 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Robert Bird Westfield Description
  10. "Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineering". khing.de. Archived from the original on 20 April 2009.
  11. HeraldSun.com.au - Westfield to open London mega centre Archived 1 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  12. "Westfield planning application". LBHF. London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. 17 December 2015. Archived from the original on 26 June 2017. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  13. Stevens, Ben (20 March 2018). "Westfield London opens £600m expansion 6 months early - Retail Gazette". Retail Gazette. Archived from the original on 26 June 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  14. Westfield Shopping Centres. "Westfield Shopping Centres". westfieldlondondevelopment.co.uk. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016.
  15. "Westfield extension plans approved". London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. 17 February 2012. Archived from the original on 9 May 2015. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  16. Ruddick, Graham (26 August 2013). "John Lewis to open Westfield London store". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 20 June 2017.
  17. Jonathan Prynn (16 July 2013). "KidZania: New £20m 'mini city' inside Westfield mall will let children 'work' for treats". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 4 July 2017.
  18. "Shepherds Bush's Local Web site". shepherdsbushw12.com. Archived from the original on 5 March 2014.
  19. KidZania. "What Is KidZania?". kidzania.co.uk. Archived from the original on 19 August 2013.
  20. "Vue Entertainment to Open Two World Class all Digital Multiplexes at Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City". Westfield Group. 30 April 2009. Archived from the original on 18 July 2009. Retrieved 31 January 2010.
  21. "White City and Shepherd's Bush". Transport for London. September 2008. Archived from the original on 21 September 2008. Retrieved 27 September 2008.
  22. Barney, Katharine. "New railway station over budget...and undersized". London Evening Standard. Archived from the original on 21 December 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2007.
  23. Transport for London. "White City Development". Archived from the original on 29 June 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2007.
  24. White City Bus Station Archived 6 December 2014 at the Wayback Machine Transport for London
  25. Historic England. "Dimco Buildings (1079757)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  26. "New White City Bus Station Opens This Weekend". Build.co.uk. 27 November 2008. Archived from the original on 20 February 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  27. The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations. "Who Framed Roger Rabbit filming locations". Archived from the original on 15 October 2007. Retrieved 2 October 2007.
  28. London Cycling Campaign (26 June 2008). "Westfield shopping centre is "a cyclist's nightmare"". Archived from the original on 8 February 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
  29. "Westfield - London's retail showdown". drapersonline.com.
  30. Sonia Purnell (10 October 2006). "Bloom or bust for Shepherd's Bush?". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  31. Harris, John (23 October 2008). "John Harris: How can Westfield - and the growing number of giant malls around the country - survive?". the Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2018.

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