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Mixing retail and healthcare in an underground car park

Cavendish Square proposed healthcare and retail development (Courtesy Revere Design for Reef Group)

Developer Reef Group is hoping to achieve planning permission from Westminster City Council to build a £100 million shopping and healthcare complex in an underground car park. The Cavendish Square complex just off Oxford Street has the advantage of being linked to the capital's famous private healthcare quarter around Harley Street.

Work would begin late next year and be completed in 2022 and there are promises of improved public realm. Shops, leisure, restaurants and cafes it is envisaged would sit along side specialist private medical and healthcare providers. The car park is currently leased to Q Park and sits in one of London's finest Georgian squares.

Mixing healthcare with leisure and shopping is developing fast as an idea to create new city destinations, but it is also being deployed at airports and train stations.

Zurich airport is placing high quality hospital healthcare with easy access for patients flying into the country. Competition among Europe's airports to create the latest 'Go-to' destination has become fierce and Zurich's 'The Circle' which is due to open in 2020, currently occupies Switzerland's biggest construction site.

In an area of 180,000 square meters building work continues on smart offices, a university medical centre, a woodland park, conference centre, retail and two new hotels, all of which adds up to a bold new destination minutes outside this European business city.

Flughafen Zurich and Swiss Life are partners in the venture with architect Riken Yamamoto responsible for the design, choosing largely glass ceilings providing an uninterrupted view of the sky. The photovoltaic installation on the roof of the building is a source of natural energy and helps to cover electricity requirements. The Circle will be certified to MINERGIE and LEED PLATINUM standards.

The ArtHub is the central meeting area for those interested in strolling through galleries, private collections or pop-up art installations while the MindHub, an education and knowledge module, uses interactive technologies for seminars and workshops.

SBB AG Immobilien's Martin Riesen spoke to Future Cities Forum about Zurich main train station's south wing upgrade which will provide a new health centre with leisure shopping, 'all situated in one of the greatest and historic station halls in Europe', Martin states.

'The planning started in 2009 and was carried out in close cooperation with the Cantonal Preservation of Historic Monuments' Martin stated, 'with the first stage of redesigning and renovating the side to the platform hall.'

'The future mix of uses will be approximately 25% restaurants and 75% retail, a new health centre and meeting rooms. The old kitchen for the restaurants in currently in the basement of the south wing and no longer meets today's needs, so a new one will be built. By 2020, the shops and restaurants in the south section will be closed so that the historical substance and building technology can be renewed', Martin explained.

Zurich sees some 400,000 travellers through its station a week and Martin says the project will deliver a new and varied selection of facilities for the traveller who wants convenience but a high quality experience.

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