Westfield Lond's terrazzo floor, which was placed over a concrete substrate, has a high-sheen finish which blends in well with the mall's high-end retailers.
Westfield Lond's terrazzo floor, which was placed over a concrete substrate, has a high-sheen finish which blends in well with the mall's high-end retailers.

Designed and owned by Australian retail property giant Westfield, a colossal new shopping and leisure complex opened to deafening fanfare in London last year. At more than 1.5 million square feet, Westfield London features more than 260 stores, 50 restaurants, and a 14-screen cinema complex. Yet the most striking design aspect of the development is The Village, an adjoining high-end retail area that attracts premium brands such as Dior, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Burberry to the previously unheard-of London shopping mall scene.

The stylish, salon-style space seamlessly integrates with the main mall, but with a very different character. Inside, the attention to detail fromspecialist fit-out contractors, Ibex Interiors, is breathtaking. Shimmering chandeliers, champagne bars, and stunning double-height glass shop fronts that appear to float above the floor create a glamorous environment suited to indulgent, luxury shopping.

But it is the floor itself that delivers the greatest talking point for visitors. It contains a combination of recycled crystal glass, mirror, and mother of the pearl aggregates. An environmentally friendly terrazzo floor topping, Mondéco by Flowcrete, dazzles underfoot.

Sweeping around the structure's central concourse, the seamless terrazzo graduates from light to dark in an elliptical pattern across six floors-three in the main mall-and extends at least 3 feet into each of the 40 stores.

To install the Mondéco, the existing concrete substrate was first brought up to meet the necessary strength requirements using a fastdrying cementitious sub-layer material, Isocrete Heavy Duty K-Screed.

To create the framework for the floor's intricate design, a specialist engineer plotted and marked the curves along the substrate. This allowed the licensed applicator, Ancorite Surface Protection, to install aluminum dividing trims in heights corresponding to that of the final floor finish along the primed, damp-proofed and reinforced surface.

The Ancorite team then meticulously mixed seven variations of the four-component Mondéco product, taking care to ensure that the correct aggregate blend was added to each color mix. Each batch was later applied to the designated bands separately to avoid cross contamination using a laying box before troweling. This ensured a smooth finish with no depressions.

Staircase design

Another challenging aspect in the design scheme lay in the form of a central spiral staircase, where precast terrazzo treads and risers had to be produced independently to match the helical shape of the steps and landings.

The Ancorite team remained onsite to complete the diamond grinding process, using coarse abrasive heads to remove the top surface layer and expose the aggregates beneath. Three successive grinding stages followed, using increasingly finer heads to remove any scratches generated from the first cut.

After a thorough wash and vacuum, the entire surface was later sealed to eliminate pinholes or inconsistencies. This was followed by a final grind, polish, and rotary scrub before being left out to dry.

To support the mall's projected high-volume traffic,Flowcrete recommended a topcoat, color enhancer, final seal, and wearing layer to create a gloss finish that would remain despite the heavy traffic.

Leaving nothing to chance, Westfi eld did not neglect the mall's multi-story parking garage, where close to 650,000 square feet of the manufacturer's waterproof deck coating system, Deckshield, was installed. This product was specified for its ability to enhance visual appearance, improve light reflectivity, eliminate water ingress into the structure, and reduce noise from tire squeal.

Despite heavy vehicular traffic, the concrete surface of the multi-story parking garage has a high-gloss finish.
Despite heavy vehicular traffic, the concrete surface of the multi-story parking garage has a high-gloss finish.