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Multiplex announced 17th August, that, with immediate effect, they were no longer the contractor on London’s largest single development.

Shopping centre giant Westfield has squeezed out troubled contractor Multiplex from its £1.5 billion Whitecity shopping centre development paying an undisclosed sum to take over construction. Multiplex, which yesterday posted an expected $50.9 million operating loss for the year to June 2006, said Westfield would assume full control of the group’s contract at White City, which will be London’s biggest shopping centre.

Multiplex chief executive Andrew Roberts said Westfield had approached the group with the offer because it had wanted to make design changes “without the imposition of a third party contract”.

This was not unexpected to Ian Ritchie Architects as Westfield always develop their schemes through their own in-house construction management teams.

In October 21st 2005, Westfield, Multiplex and Ian Ritchie Architects Ltd agreed the following Press statement:

“As a result of changes in the ownership of The White City project, Ian Ritchie Architects Ltd are no longer involved with the main scheme of retail and leisure. They are continuing as architects for most of the new public transport elements and some external works of the White City project.”

Westfield has since applied their own ethos of what a shopping centre should be and should look like. This is very different to that established by Ian Ritchie Architects with their former client, Chelsfield.