The Square Mile’s retail revolution

Timothy Barber
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IN the thrust and frenzy of City life, it’s crucial to have somewhere you can take yourself for a bit of quiet repose, if only while you wolf down a sandwich at lunchtime. Problem is, such spaces are rather thin on the ground in the Square Mile – but in a month’s time, one of the best escapist spaces for City workers will be opening eight floors off the ground.

The roof terrace of One New Change, the new shopping centre on Cheapside that opens in mid November, is really rather more than a terrace – it’s an expanse of over 10,000 sq. feet that anyone will be able to visit. Next door is St Paul’s cathedral, and the view of this iconic landmark is quite stupendous, its great neoclassical dome looming across the way, while the vista beyond stretches from the fast-rising Shard by London Bridge to the London Eye, taking in Tate Modern along the way.

It’s not as if the City is without great views, but unless you’re being wined and dined at Tower 42, or are lucky enough to work in the Lloyds building or the Gherkin, accessing them isn’t easy. “The whole point of this space is that it’s not a chief executives’ playground, it’s for everyone,” says David Atcherly Symes, retail manager for property developer Land Securities, which has built One New Change.

Atcherly Symes has been responsible for bringing in the retailers – including Hugo Boss, Topshop, Karen Millen, Banana Republic and H&M, as well as restaurants that include outlets from Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver – who will be making One New Change the Westfield of the City. He points out that while the Square Mile is far from the bland, office-only district it used to be, it can still be a difficult place to engage in full-on retail therapy. “There are great shops in the City, but they can be rather disparate, and this brings a large number of mid-range shops together,” he says. “It should mean that that lunchtime dash to the West End becomes a thing of the past.”

It’ll also mean there’s a reason to visit the City at the weekend, since the shops and restaurants – including that dramatic roof terrace, which has a restaurant and café attached – will be open seven days a week. The developers are also hoping that Gordon Ramsays’ café (a twist on his Plane Food venture at Heathrow’s Terminal 5) or Jamie Oliver’s barbecue-inspired restaurant, Barbecoa, will provide an extra draw.

The building itself is a rather sci-fi affair – all thrusting angles and shady glass, apparently inspired by the design for a Stealth bomber – by French architect Jean Nouvel, who was behind this summer’s beautiful red pavilion at the Serpentine Gallery. Bold and modern it may be, but not in such a way that it detracts from St Paul’s across the road – in fact, all its walkways and angles point towards the cathedral, and that roof terrace offers a vital new way to enjoy the City’s greatest landmark. Opens 28 Oct.


Fashion includes:
Hugo Boss
Super Dry
Karen Millen
Banana Republic
Kurt Geiger
LK Bennett
Fraser Hart
Gifts and services includes:
Oliver Bonas
Hotel Chocolat
Daniel Hersheson

Food and drink includes:
Gordon Ramsay new restaurant
Barbecoa from Jamie Oliver
M&S Simply Food
Caffe Concerto
Bea’s of Bloomsbury