At 175,000 square metres, Westfield Stratford City, in East London, is one of Europe’s largest indoor retail and leisure centres and was at the heart of the Olympic Park for London 2012.
It was at Stratford City where we delivered a unique new flagship branch for HSBC, a ‘blue chip’ financial worldwide organisation with which we have been associated for circa twenty years. As the Stratford City development would play such a central role during London 2012 HSBC wanted to create a one off branch that would showcase and promote this world renowned financial organisation and the services it offers.
The new £1.4m, 500 square metre flagship branch was within the secure area of the Olympic Park, which meant that security was paramount. Everyone who attended the project went through stringent security checks prior to entering the site, over and above the normal security requirements for this client. We started with an empty shell and fourteen weeks later we handed over a stunning environment that HSBC was delighted with. Having been presented with the new design concepts it was clear from the start that this was going to be special.
The exterior was clad in black glass with a clear glass bulkhead, onto which the corporate logo was applied. Inside we suspended rows of digital screens within the timber panelled wall that display a variety of images and advertising messages and a digital CCZ was suspended from the ceiling. The floor was laid with 1200x1200mm black ceramic tiles; one feature wall was clad with vertically mounted ‘French’ polished timber slats and three walls were finished in a textured ‘Armourcoat’ plastered panels.
Offices were divided by using cantilevered glass onto which we applied decorative graphics in the shape of British design icons. The express banking wall was also fabricated in glass and features nine automated tills/cash dispensers.
We worked closely with the project architect and we were also involved in the design of the main oak panelled walls, the glass express banking wall and the full-height glazed office partitions.
Security was an on-going challenge; everything that was delivered or left site had to go through security clearance, with additional check points on the M11 that caused delays and had to be factored into the delivery of the new branch. During the week before Stratford City opened deliveries were queuing for up to 2 and a half hours to get materials on site.
Additional challenges included the testing of all M & E services (that had to be connected to Westfield’s own system), which had to be checked seven days prior to hand over.
We delivered the new branch on time and within budget, the bank opened, as planned on the day that Westfield Stratford City officially launched.
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