The Modern Shopping Mall is Gaining Ground – Interior Design Now More Demanding

The Modern Shopping Mall is Gaining Ground – Interior Design Now More Demanding

“If you spend fifteen minutes in a shopping mall, you will pass more people than our ancestors saw during their entire lifetimes.”
– Says Rolf Dobelli a Swiss Author and Entrepreneur.

The shopping mall is a twentieth-century invention. According to Wikipedia, a shopping mall is an American term for a large indoor shopping center. The word “Mall” itself derives its origin from a pedestrian promenade with shops along it. The idea was to build an enclosed complex dedicated to shopping, free from noise and air pollution, bad weather, crime, and commute hassles. Today’s shopping malls are larger than life, not just a hassle-free shopping experience but more of a venue where people mingle and spend most of their leisure time. A space where people connect and hang out under one roof, whether it’s dining, window shopping, or entertainment. 

The Shopping Mall is Gaining Ground, Literally!  

Just a decade ago there were no enclosed malls in Pakistan. Bazaars and Markets (strip malls in America) are still prevalent. Unlike the western world, strip malls are still common among the public in developing countries like Pakistan. But due to a whole new experience for consumers, these modern-day malls are far more popular and practical. Despite recessions, the rise in online shopping, and the pandemic, shopping malls have weathered the storms. Shopping malls now anchor not only retail stores but famous chain stores, commercial banks, jewelers, cinemas, spas and fitness centers, and even luxury apartments.  

“Strip Malls are History,” says Jeff Bezos (Founder of Amazon)

As mentioned earlier the idea of an enclosed shopping mall was first introduced to the world by the United States of America. The world’s first enclosed shopping mall is the Southdale Center in Minneapolis, United States. It was developed in 1956 and designed by Architect Victor, Gruen. Hence, shopping malls can be considered America’s most valuable contribution to the world economy. During the last decade, Pakistan has contributed fairly to building these large shopping complexes. Lucky One Mall in Karachi, is not only Pakistan’s largest shopping mall and South Asia’s 2nd but also the world’s 32’nd. The Grand Central Mall in Faisalabad is 2nd largest in Pakistan and world’s 36’th. Last but not least the Emporium Mall in Lahore is 3rd largest in Pakistan and the world’s 45th. 

Top Three Famous Shopping Malls in Islamabad 

Architects in today’s modern age are designing shopping centers that strike the perfect balance between innovation and customer experience. The last couple of decades has seen a continuous surge in the development of shopping malls. Ubiquitous and trendy as they are these structures have added new attractions in cities. The top three(3) famous malls in Islamabad, developed before 2020 are: 

  1. Centaurus Mall

    The Centaurus
    The Centaurus

    Located in Sector F-8, Islamabad. With covered areas of 2,83,140 sq ft, Centaurus Mall is Islamabad’s most premium location for indoor shopping and more. An iconic structure and one of the tallest buildings, Centaurus has become a new landmark of the capital. Construction work started in 2006 and the mall opened to the public in 2013. It has 36 floors, 4 of which are shopping malls, and two basement floors for car parking. It houses more than 250 outlets & kiosks, including Al-Fatah, Cineplex, and Funcity. Apart from the four-story shopping mall, it has 23 floors for residential and office use. Hence it’s a mixed-use real estate development. WS Atkins, a British firm, is the architect of the Centaurus Mall. 

  2. Giga Mall

    Giga Mall
    Giga Mall

    Situated in DHA Islamabad, Giga Mall with a covered area of 1,80,000sq ft is a mixed-use 14-story development. Also known as the World Trade Center, since it is affiliated with the World Trade Centers Association. The Mall opened to the public in 2016 and has become the ultimate entertainment & shopping destination of the twin cities. It’s the second-largest mall in the twin cities with five floors for shopping, dining, and entertainment. The concept of the building design came from Atkins. Gigamall is house to many top brands, a cinema and fun zones including, Carrefour, Cinepax, and Funcity.

  3. Safa Gold Mall

    safa gold islamabad
    Safa Gold

    Located in Islamabad’s F-7 Markaz also called Jinnah Super Market Safa Gold Mall is a premium shopping destination. With a covered area of 28,593 sq ft, it houses more than 150 stores on its eight levels. 

Why Shopping Mall Interior Design Matters

Silk Mall - Main Lobby and Entrance - Interior Design by NZ Architects Pakistan
Main Lobby and Entrance Concept Design of a Mall – by NZ Architects Pakistan; Notable Architects in Islamabad Rawalpindi

At the heart of the Shopping Mall is Interior Design. Competition has already become challenging for interior designers and Architects. The urban population is growing exponentially, hence the malls. Every year we see a new mall popping up in Islamabad. As an architect and interior designer, the challenge is to keep up. Keep up with the challenge of competition, trends, innovation, and practicalities. Designers strive to bring creative yet practical interior design solutions to create a transcendental experience. The better customer experience the more sales hence the more successful a Mall.  

Additionally, there are also other factors that affect indirectly. That is location, accessibility, prices, and brands. It all comes down to the retail experience. How the interior of the mall plays part in it? The more the interior enhances and compliments the better the consumer experience.

At the Heart of the Shopping Mall is Interior Design.

Shopping Mall Architects and interior designers are engaged more than ever. To think of new layouts and attractive designs to attract the public. Because these malls are home to some top-notch brands, frequented by thousands of customers daily. Designing a glittering and fascinating home for these mega-brands is the goal of an architect and interior designer. Following the success of the above-mentioned malls in Islamabad, several new malls are under construction while others have already opened.

The future of shopping malls is bright in Pakistan. We see new malls with modern architecture and lavish interiors. Hence, customers have even more options to choose from.  From the mall entrance lobby to elevators, from the food court and retail shops to kiosks and pop-ups, design is everywhere.  

shopping mall interior design alley retail shops kiosks by nz architects Pakistan shopping mall interior design elevators section by NZ Architects Pakistan

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