Les Terrasses du Port, Marseille

Back in 2009 Hammerson, Global Asset Owners/Managers, acquired Les Terrasses du Port, Marseille. At the time it was billed as one of the largest shopping centre developments anticipated in France. The 52,000 m² centre provides 150 stores, 2,850 car parking spaces and a 260 metre-wide restaurant terrace overlooking the sea…..and it looks amazing! The vision for it now in 2012 is breathtaking.

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Burberry Pacific Place, Hong Kong

Burberry have continued on from the Burberry Live flagship store at London Regent Street with a new store in Hong Kong at a mall i love and blogged about some time ago, Pacific Place. The store design follows the same Live concept, but the photos hint that the fixtures and furnishings are a lighter more contemporary retail orientated position than the refined, classical premium appearance in Regent St.

In store at Pacific Place there seems to be less indication of the multi channel influence like in Regent Street, multimedia screens are replaced with a denser product offer, particularly on perimeter fixtures. The outside of the store however features light and potentially movement (it should move if it doesn’t!), lots of it in fact. The whole facade over two floors of the mall is illuminated in the famous Burberry pattern, in blue, reminding me slightly of a somewhat garish Victoria’s Secret shop front concept seen recently at Westfield Stratford in London.

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Agency Feature Part 2: The Uncarved Block – The Galeries Victoria Food Court

The second piece of work the Uncarved Block had shortlisted in the 2012 Australian Interior Design Awards, was another food court. This time in The Galeries Victoria shopping centre. The previous food court was looking tired, located below ground level in Sydney’s CBD. Philip Chia came up with a new direction for the food court, one that would see it offer a new boutique style dining experience.

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Agency Feature Part 1: The Uncarved Block – Melbourne Central Food Court

I have lost count of the amount of times I have used the above image as inspiration over the last 6 months for retail projects focusing on graphic language and tone of voice. I recently stumbled upon this article on Architecture.AU and found that the agency responsible for the project is The Uncarved Block. A relatively young agency, founded in 2010 by Philip Chia. The Uncarved Block’s holding page gives little away, other than a strong, contemporary impression that leaves the visitor intrigued to see more!

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Does/is Retail Design Need to change?

Retail design creativity has to be driven by new innovative technological thinking. I’ve recently been considering the retail design situation in the high street and many recurring shopping centres. It’s becoming too static. Samey. New shopping centres like Westfield are regurgitating the same look and feel, and the same shopfits. Flagship has become roll out, or visa versa.

We work on Retail design and delivery in my agency, approving new shop designs in shopping centres all over the country. A common problem is that landlords are desperate to get big brands in to shopping centres and whilst they want the best look for their malls in terms of shop design, they do not want to rock the boat so much by demanding more elaborate, show stopping designs that results in tenants deciding to opt out. But as brand guardians, is of course our desire to see thought provoking or jaw dropping design.

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Pacific Place, Hong Kong by Thomas Heatherwick

Hot on the heels of my last shopping centre orientated blog post I have found a case study of another one in Hong Kong. I was actually looking for sculptural installation work by Thomas Heatherwick for a shopping centre project I am working on in England, when I came across Pacific Place. Thomas Heatherwick was commisioned to rennovate this shopping centre and it just looks incredible.

It ripples and flows organically from the external stone facade, through the interior surfaces, glass, mall edges and ceiling features, to intricate details such as lift cars and their calling buttons. Such is the sense of fluidity to the building Heatherwick has moved to soften all angular edges, one impressive instance of this, a new restaurant on the upper level, features skylights clad in timber with softened edges. Continue Reading

Beaugrenelle Shopping Mall, Paris

The Beaugrenelle shopping mall in Paris has been visioned by French architects Agence Search. The real ‘feature’ to their pitch winning design is giant elliptical lattices. The shopping centre at 5 storey’s in height will have these woven timber structures piercing through the two atriums located at each end of the shopping centre.

Footbridges and escalators intersect the suspended timber lattices creating what the architects call a “wow effect” The shopping centre is due to open its doors in Spring 2013 and will feature Marks and Spencer’s as one of its anchor stores, some 10 years after M&S withdrew all of its stores from France. Continue Reading