Once art and culture were considered periphery to the retail experience, but not anymore. Cultural experiences are becoming increasingly imaginative and popular within destinations.
Vanke Times Center, Beijing, China
“A former shopping mall in Beijing’s busy Chaoyang district has been transformed into a 47,000 sq m mixed-use ‘urban complex’ that blends retail space with offices, exhibition space, art installations and a bamboo meditation garden,” says Lesley Wang, Retail Director, Savills Beijing. “Designed by architect Schmidt Hammer Lassen, the basement and ground levels of the four-storey building are dedicated to retail, while the upper floors house offices, event spaces and green spaces, including a second-floor meditation garden with its white stone gravel floors and bamboo forest. The entrance atrium is dominated by a striking suspended sculpture installation by French artist Charles Petillon.”
Art Village at Normany Designer Outlet
In November 2018 designer outlet specialist McArthurGlen obtained final approval for the first luxury designer outlet in the western Paris area. Opening in 2021, the €200 million designer outlet will cover 20,000 sq m centre and 100 stores, a selection of restaurants and cafes, a luxury piazza and, to complement this, an artisan village will be created to showcase and celebrate art, local craftsmanship and culture called ‘Maison des Metiers d’Art’.
Being developed in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (The CCI), the Chamber of Crafts and Artisanship of the Eure (The CMA) and the French National Institute of Crafts (INMA), Maison des Métiers d’Art will promote French crafts and artisanship, and will include workshops and studios for craftspeople as well as exhibition and sales space.
“While the centre will be very modern, it will be complemented with what is a first for us, an artisan village,” says Mike Natus, Joint Managing Director development, McArthurGlen. Natus says that this is being established both to promote local goods and services but also to encourage repeat visits, with the area taking up around 2,000 sq m, around a third of the central courtyard area, and directly facing one frontage of the outlet retail.