Project Babylon and the Winged Figure's half century, 2013

The opening of the brand new elevator at Oxford Street, 2013
The rather pricey Winged Figure prototype, that for a limited period was on exhibition at John Lewis Oxford Street, 2013

Continuously evolving

As competition on Oxford Street not only grows but also becomes more illustrious and grand, it is important now more than ever to continue to operate at the edge of retailing modernity, therefore constantly surpassing customer expectations.


In the summer of 2013, the latest renovation works to take place at John Lewis Oxford Street were duly started. Project Babylon was an £8.5 million refurbishment plan that involved a revamp of the lower ground floor and the installation of a new escalator by the south-east entrance next to the beauty department. A new third floor studio that would showcase the latest fitted kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms was also to be installed. Project Babylon was completed in November 2013, just before the Christmas rush.

The Winged Figure’s fiftieth year

In September 2013, celebrations were started to help celebrate the 50th year of Barbara Hepworth’s six-metre high Winged Figure, which had adorned the side of John Lewis Oxford Street since 1963, The celebrations were held in partnership with the Hepworth Wakefield, the Yorkshire Gallery that celebrates Barbara Hepworth’s work. The figure was renovated in the summer of 2013, and for a short while the figure’s smaller prototype was on exhibition in the department store’s third floor brassiere. Said to be worth well over a £1 million, the prototype was carefully looked after by a specialist team.

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