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Oxford’s Clarendon Centre to be redesigned in multi-million pound project

Dania Kamal Aryf discusses the new building plans for the Clarendon Centre.

The Oxford Clarendon Centre is expected to be redesigned following a proposal made by the London-based consultancy firm, Lothbury Investment Management.

The main aims of redesigning the building would be to create more dynamic public spaces in the heart of the city, and to open a new link to the nearby Frewin Court building which has been largely unused over recent years. The new design proposals would also include a ground and roof level.

The shopping centre owners have claimed that the coronavirus pandemic has taken a negative toll on footfall on Oxford’s high street, and thus want to diversify the centre, which would no longer be exclusively used for retail.

Adam Smith, from Lothbury Investment Management, said in a comment to the Oxford Mail that: “There have been dramatic changes in the retail sector since the Clarendon Centre first opened in 1984.”

He suggested that a range of new uses is being proposed for the shopping centre. Hence, in addition to retail, restaurants and cafes, they are also exploring how laboratory facilities, student accommodation, and further office space can be provided with the redesign of the venue.

Smith added: “At the heart of the redevelopment will be a new public space. We hope this will add to the famous squares and quadrangles of Oxford and be truly accessible to all. We want this to become a new green oasis in the heart of the city to provide an area in which people can relax, work and play in a safe, inspiring environment.”

When informed that the new redesign of the Clarendon Centre will be a multi-storey building, Smith said that they are “excited to be providing public access to a landscape designed roof space which will showpiece the stunning Oxford skyline.”

The consultancy firm will therefore look into consulting with shoppers and residents about the proposed changes, before submitting an application to the Oxford City Council by the end of this year.

Hence, the project team will be organising a ‘digital drop-in’ on Wednesday 4th November, at 6pm. The event will feature a presentation from the architects, and provide an opportunity for shoppers and residents to submit any queries.

Image credit: YorkshireLad/ Wikimedia Commons. License: CC BY-SA 4.0

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