• West Way Square, Oxford

    West Way Square is an urban redevelopment in West Oxford. The new public piazza, which is surrounded by restaurants, cafes and student accommodation, was specifically designed to provide an attractive focal point for residents, visitors and shoppers alike. Darke & Taylor designed and installed all of the electrical utilities and containment for this urban redevelopment project.

    Hero westway

Project challenges


For safety reasons, two separate electricity supplies were required – primary and secondary – which needed to be run via physically separate routes. However, car parks are defined as a single open space… so what to do?

Solution: Darke & Taylor (D&T) sourced a specialist manufacturer who wrapped the secondary supply in a fire protective metal enclosure (Durasteel). This ensured it was kept physically separate from the primary supply and satisfied all building regulations.


2.1 meters of ground clearance for the car park left a void of just 300mm to fit in all the services required – gas, heating, ventilation… etc. Given that electricity cabling is the most ‘flexible’, it was left to D&T to ‘make it work’ alongside the other services.

Solution: D&T obtained technical drawings from all the other service providers and managed to design a solution to incorporate all the electrical cabling.


Both the retail and accommodation blocks were handed over in stages. This meant that some areas were made live whilst others were still being worked on which, given the sheer number of units, represented a considerable logistical challenge.

Solution: Pinpoint coordination: given the live nature of the project and the number of parties involved, D&T had to keep an hourly grip on this project with Daily Planning Meetings.


CCTV cameras require clear fields of vision to operate effectively. However, architects prefer them to be hidden from view so as not to compromise the overall aesthetics.

Solution: D&T took considerable time coordinating with West Way’s designer and architect to identify CCTV locations which would satisfy everybody’s needs. Once decided, D&T went to great lengths to mount the CCTV cameras as unobtrusively as possible, even sourcing materials which complemented those of the buildings.


“…given the live nature of the project and the number of parties involved, Darke & Taylor had to keep an hourly grip on this project with Daily Planning Meetings.”

Technical overview

D&T designed and installed all the electrical utilities and containment for the redevelopment of West Way Square. This encompassed general power and lighting for the car park, retail and accommodation units as well as safety (fire alarm systems), security (CCTV, ANPR cameras, access control), structured cabling and renewable energies (solar PV, electric vehicle charging).

The project was split into six different blocks: Block A (Premier Inn hotel), Blocks B & C (student accommodation blocks), and Blocks D, E & F (retail units). Each Block had its own car park; underground car parks for Blocks A-D and overground car parks for Blocks E−F.

Project details


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