Executive elf-architects making Christmas magical at Harrods

Christmas at the world’s most famous department store, Harrods, is always magical. Expectations for bringing Christmas cheer to customers and anyone passing Knightsbridge store are rather high as you might expect – and this year is no different! But what does that have to do with Woods Hardwick you may ask!

In recent years, as well as many other projects for the world-renowned retailer, we have held the position of Executive Architect of the exclusive Santa’s Grotto experience. So over the past few months we have been working with the interior designers and Harrods’ visual merchandising team to make this year’s Grotto the best yet. This festive season, Harrods has partnered with global jewellery and accessory brand, Swarovski, to create The Secret Forest Grotto. 

Lucky visitors will discover a snow-covered woodland filled with sparkling surprises that will leave little ones mesmerised by the magic of Christmas. They then meet Father Christmas for a family experience like no other. Running from now until Christmas Eve, it is sadly sold out….but that doesn’t mean you can’t still experience the wonder that is this iconic store – with a little bit more help from the Woods Hardwick team. 


This year we have also obtained Planning and Listed Building approval for the simply magical external decorations you will see adorning the outside of this iconic Grade II Listed building. And the external lights are highlighting some epic window displays – a menagerie of animal models; from brown bears, to sleek snow leopards, with each animal was chosen by a different luxury brand to reflect their heritage and products.

This is the perfect end to a year that sees us celebrating 25 years of working with the department store.  More than 250 projects over a quarter of a century, our architecture and retail fit out team has worked as Executive Architects and as part of wider design teams, overseeing many enhancements to the store – from Men’s SuperBrands, the repositioning of the historic Food Hall as the premier retail grocery destination, to the roof development project and staff restaurant – all set against the backdrop of this timeless Grade II listed building. 

Here’s to another 25 years!