Shopping centers no longer serve as a space for hundreds of different stores, they are now modern day agoras where people gather to shop, socialize and engage in leisure activities. Take a look at some shopping centers that have evolved accordingly.
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Year of Construction: 2016
Architects: CallisonRTKL, The Buchan Group
The most characteristic element in this project is the gridded glass roof that covers almost the entirety of the building. The translucent roof brings daylight into the mall, making it look more like an open boulevard than a regular closed shopping center- this feature makes the Chadstone mall one of the most popular shopping centers in Australia.
Designing the roof took the combined efforts of a team of architects, designers, and engineers, including research teams from the University of Bath and the University of Stuttgart; the structure was designed with the aid of a 3D parametric design software.
Location: Leeds, UK
Year of construction: 2016
This shopping center was designed as part of a masterplan to create an urban block that would act as a key element in the city, filled with leisure activities such as shopping and entertainment. The new building had to act as an extension of the Heathrow civic axis; it was important to avoid making it look like a regular shopping mall, so it was decided that the shopping center would be designed to resemble the old Victorian arcades that are so characteristic of Leeds.
The building is comprised of three different volumes that merge into each other and assemble themselves into the city's vernacular architecture. The facade takes after the buildings that surround the project, with elements like terracotta bricks which are present in victorian architecture. The inside takes its inspiration from traditional Leeds elements such as the patterns found in their wooden knits and the use of curved glass.
Location: Shanghai, China
Year of Construction: 2013
Located at the feet of the New World tower, a staple of the 90's commercial renaissance of Shanghai, this shopping center was conceived to bring new life to the commercial district of Huai Hai Lu by means of its motto "Art, People and Nature".
The visual integration of the six floors that comprise the shopping mall was achieved by opening a hole from underground; the glass portion of this part of the project was carefully designed, and the triangular mullions were cast individually to make them perfect. The inner courtyard features an impressive 9-floor cascade on the entrance which illuminates at night and is the biggest one in China. The third floor comprises of an urban green space that accompanies the shopping mall's food court; this space was formerly a parking lot which makes the transformation all the more interesting.
Location: Guangzhou, Guangdong, China
Year of Construction: 2016
Located in the heart of the business district of the city, this project was envisioned as a "Stadium for retail"; it includes rich urban landscaping elements, and emphasizes its surroundings by the use of different levels and heights that form paths and create interspaces that connect the project with the rest of the city. The project includes an urban park that acts as a green mattress to counteract the heavy traffic from the Tianhe Road, and gifts the urban landscape with a breathing spot.
The shape of the building responds to the Chinese symbol for peace, harmony, and fortune: the double fish; the two buildings arch around the park, as the fish do.
Location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Year of Construction: 2014
This shopping center aimed to reinvent the old heart of the city and give it a more contemporary face while still keeping some traditional elements in its design. The architects came up with a contemporary interpretation of the traditional souk or market, and the city's vernacular architecture by using elements such as light-taming screens, intricate patterns and materials found in traditional Arab architecture and giving them new shapes. The panels are movable and change their positions according to the time of the day and season. The interior layout is reminiscent of the highly dense and fragmented streets of traditional Arab cities.
The souk combines traditional Arab markets and high-end luxury shopping, all in one place- a portrait of the buoyant city of Abu Dhabi.
Location: Ginza district, Tokyo, Japan
Year of Construction: 2016
Architects: Nikken Sekkei
The Tokyu Plaza is located in the most important commercial district in Tokyo; its location at the convergence point between two other districts, Yurakucho and Hibiya, make it even more relevant and awarded it the nickname of "The Gate of Ginza". The project uses a full block, an unusual occurrence in the city, and has streets on its four sides.
The project's shape and facade respond to the concept of a "glass vessel" inspired by "Edo Kiriko", a traditional cutting glass technique.The completely translucent facade, apart from letting light in, allows the project to visually interact with the rest of the city. The angles on the facade cause the glass to reflect different images from the city in different times of the day, turning the phenomenon into an urban show for the inhabitants of the city.