The Brunswick Shopping Center is a residential and shopping centre in Bloomsbury, Camden, London, England, located between Brunswick Square and Russell Square. The Brunswick Shopping Centre offers an exciting retail and leisure experience in the heart of Bloomsbury, encompassing an eclectic mix of fashion, entertainment and dining offerings.
It was designed by Patrick Hodgkinson in the mid-1960s, based on studies by Leslie Martin. It was initially planned as a private development at a time when private, mixed-use development in the UK was rare. Building started in 1967 and was completed in 1972, though the building fell some way short of its intended size. The original plan extended up to Euston Road but the Ministry of Defence would not release the site of a building they leased for use by the Territorial Army (and that still stands next to the Centre today)
After failing to attract sufficient private buyers on time, the residential section was leased to the London Borough of Camden for use as council housing, while the developer retained ownership of the structure and shopping areas. The exterior of the building was never painted because the Borough could not afford to complete work on the building after they took control. In Hodgkinson’s design, the blocks would have been painted cream, a shade typical of the Georgian period, as a homage to the terraced houses that previously stood on the site and those that still surround it.
Despite being widely disliked by those who are unsympathetic to modernist architecture, it achieved Grade II status in 2000. By this time, however, many of its shop premises were unoccupied. Plans for renovation had repeatedly been blocked by residents’ committees but in November 2002, the £22 million project began. This included the painting of the blocks in their originally-planned colour and the commissioning of artist Susanna Heron to introduce water features to the central space. The major work was completed in late 2006 with the opening of branches of several high street chain stores and restaurants. The dual management has caused problems though, as the landlord restored the structure of the estate but the council is responsible for maintenance of the residential properties – so while the concrete structure was restored, the windows remained untouched, detracting from the overall aesthetic of the development. In 2007, the council started work on replacing the windows that has resulted in the residents having scaffolding outside their flats for the second time in just a few years.
Now referring to itself as The Brunswick, the centre contains 560 flats, various shops, cafés and restaurants, a Waitrose supermarket, and the Renoir Cinema (one of London’s Curzon Cinemas group).
Anchored by the largest Waitrose in Central London and a state-of-the-art Curzon art-house cinema, The Brunswick also has a strong catering offer including Carluccio’s, Leon, GBK, Nando’s and Las Iguanas.
The fashion mix is very substantial with great brands such as Hobbs, LK Bennett, and high street favourites River Island, New Look and Oasis.
The Brunswick Shopping Centre attracts 7million visitors per annum (approx. 126,000 per week) and shoppers are from 4 key groups, local residents, workers, students and tourists.
Residents have an annual non-food spend of £189m and £43m on Catering. The average worker spends £16 per visit, and visits 36 times per annum providing a further £54m non-food spend from the 94,000 workers within 10 minutes’ walk.
The customer satisfaction rating for The Brunswick is high for all visitor categories.
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- Address: The Brunswick London WC1N 1BS
- Phone: 020 7833 6066
- Website: http://www.brunswick.co.uk/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Get there by bus: Russell Square (Stop J) 59 68 91 168
- Get there by tube/train: Russell Square Station (Piccadilly)
- Wheelchair access: Yes
- Additional information: The centre is very accessible for wheelchairs. It is on raised ground, yet there is ramp access up to it. The rest of the centre has flat floors so all the shops and restaurants are accessible too.
- Monday 09:00 - 21:00
- Tuesday 09:00 - 21:00
- Wednesday 09:00 - 21:00
- Thursday 09:00 - 21:00
- Friday 09:00 - 21:00
- Saturday 09:00 - 21:00
- Sunday 12:00 - 18:00