Microsoft Retail

A historical space for a high-tech giant

Delivering a best-in-class experiential store for Microsoft in the heart of London’s West End

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Microsoft Retail Project summary

Client

Microsoft

Key partners

CBRE, Montagu Evans, Gensler, Ramboll

Services provided

Project and programme management, Cost consultancy

Sectors

Retail

Locations

UK - London and south-east England

Project timeline

Start date
June 2016
Status
Complete
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Project story

In July 2019, Microsoft launched its newest flagship in London’s West End – its first flagship store in Europe. 

Covering three floors, the store is designed to build connections with the local community, businesses and customers; offering the latest technology, products and services from Microsoft and its partners. It includes an experience centre for commercial customers, a community theatre for digital learning, an answer desk for technical support and a state-of-the-art gaming lounge.

Mace acted as a project manager and cost consultant on converting the Grade II listed building into a high-tech retail space for Microsoft. This is one of the country’s most complex retail projects, where a historical building was transformed to accommodate cutting edge technology - much like Microsoft, a company making history by pushing the boundaries of innovation.

Transforming 244 Regent Street, on one of the world’s busiest retail streets, came with a number of challenges, including keeping traffic disruption to a minimum and making structural alterations on the Grade II listed building. Mace used its in-house construction team to understand the project complexity in advance and used the most efficient delivery strategies to save costs and time while preserving the listed façade of the building.

Microsoft flagship store - Oxford Street
170tonnes of steel installed
21,932sqft store

points of note

Delivering project complexity

In order to deliver the project and the client’s vision, Mace was tasked with removing five columns from the existing building. The challenge was to preserve its listed façade and avoid any changes to its foundation due to tube lines running underneath building. To achieve this, Mace raised the 900-tonne building in one evening – temporarily separating the building from its foundations – using hydraulic jacks, keeping the façade intact.

Time saving

The Mace team saved at least six weeks from the construction programme using expedited strip-out commencement. They went the extra mile by understanding the structural and fit-out programme in advance, as well as saving a further week by immediately re-sequencing floor plate removals and shop front glass installation.