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A look at the VIVA award-winner

Beaugrenelle, Paris

Vision, Innovation and Value Achievement; great stuff when it comes to shopping centres. Did you know there are awards for those? Tony Quinn takes us to Paris, Chengdu and Santiago to look at some stunning designs.

This month I’m further exploring centres that have won the International Council of Shopping Centres (ICSC) VIVA awards. VIVA stands for vision, innovation and value achievement, and these are awards presented to centres that tick all of these boxes.

The first centre is the Beaugrenelle in Paris, located a stone’s throw away from the Eiffel Tower. It is on an urban project and gateway to the 15th arrondissement which is a regeneration of an edgy district, and exemplifies the latest thinking in mixed use with combined offices, retail and residential. It was built on the site of an old dilapidated building and was completed at the end of 2013. Beaugrenelle is a six-level development of some 50,000m2 of retail, set among commercial and residential towers. It hosts a wide range of stores boasting names like Zara, Adidas, Lacoste, Marks and Spencer, H&M, and Uniqlo among others.

The spectacular architecture by Valode and Pistre has independent island-like buildings with glazed facades, a majestic atrium and green roofs. It spans a major road with a beautiful glazed bridge connecting the three ‘island’ buildings. The main feature of the interior is the five-level atrium, topped with its coloured-glass skylight.

For the next centre we head to China, to another new mixed-use development known as Chengdu IFS. The 760,000m2 development (no it’s not a typo) comprises a shopping centre of 210,000m2, two premium A-grade office towers of 260,000m2, a 230-room five-star hotel of 41,000m2, and high-end residential towers of 72,000m2.

By way of comparison, Australia’s largest centre is Chadstone, at 190,000m2. Anyway, we are talking large. The retail podium of this development houses 300 top-tier stores, a Lane Crawford department store, F&B outlets, ice-skating rink, fitness centre, bowling alley, an Imax Cineplex and a ceremonial hall. The centre was designed by international architects Benoy with a brief to bring the elements of a city into a large-scale mixed-use development. The overarching design response required the interconnectivity of its mixed-use elements, with the inclusion of civic spaces delivering a landmark to Chengdu.

At the centre of the scheme and crowning the retail podium is a ‘sky garden’ creating a view over a park for the office, residential and hotel towers above.

Chengdu IFS connects with the city’s historic roots; an Antiquity Plaza has been preserved and displays relics from the Song and Tang dynasties via glazed viewing platforms at plaza level, and a small museum at basement level. The centre opened in 2014 and was a VIVA Award recipient at the Recon event held in May this year in Las Vegas.

Next we move on to South America, where Mall Plaza Egaña in Santiago, Chile won a VIVA award for sustainable design and development. The 94,000m2, 226-store development is the first sustainable mall in Chile. It uses a combination of recycled water and materials, energy efficiency with photovoltaics and greenwall facade. It was developed in urban harmony with its city surrounds and connects to existing pedestrian and street patterns. The centre consists of three levels of retail, plus a large roof terrace offering restaurants and entertainment. The facades incorporate a mixture of timber, greenwall and commercial glazing.

The common theme of all of these is their locations in urban renewal areas, and their participation in their cities’ revitalisation and activation. This is further evidence that retail is a key component in the reinvigoration of cities. SCN

About the author

Tony Quinn

Tony Quinn is a Principal Architect at Hames Sharley, a national multi-award winning design practice specialising in architecture, interior design, urban design and planning. Tony has over 25 years’ experience within the retail and mixed use sectors, extending across master planning and design. Prior to joining Hames Sharley, Tony has directed award winning projects such as the Orion Springfield Queensland (mixed use) and Sovereign Hills Town Centre (mixed use). Tony also worked on projects such as No. 1 Martin Place (Sydney GPO), Grace Bros Broadway and Sydney Central Plaza redevelopments.

Tony is a member of the Australian Institute of Architects, Large Practice Committee (AIA) and International Council of Shopping Centres and is an active member of the Property Industry Foundation, as a former board member and chair of the Regatta committee.

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