Architect HOK International has been asked to revitalise the shopping area of central London around Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street.
It has been given 15 months to develop a masterplan for the area, known as "the district", listing the improvements it believes are required. The job is for a partnership of property owners and retailers in the area.

HOK has worked closely with Westminster council, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London on proposals for improved street lighting and seats and easier pedestrian access. HOK's senior vice president Pierre Baillargeon said: "The district is one of the most important shopping destinations in the world and the experience for visitors and residents must more than satisfy their expectations."

Final recommendations are due to be completed early next year and they will be put into action from April next year.

n Detailed design work has begun on the £75m third dome of the Eden Project development in Cornwall. Included in the plans are a dry tropics biome, covered walkways, a field centre and more exhibition areas. It will built by a joint venture of Sir Robert McAlpine and Alfred McAlpine, which built the first phase. The scheme, designed by Nicholas Grimshaw, is expected to be completed by 2005.