Shopping is about the pleasure of authentic discovery, an urban adventure that is about creative and spontaneous exploration. In an increasingly mobile and digital age, fresh interpretations of the spatial experience of the physical mall are essential. Urban malls make up many of today’s largest public places, and are often planned to accommodate a breadth of activities. DP has been involved in retail projects of increasing scale and complexity since the 1960s; some so large, like The Dubai Mall, they perform as micro-urbanisms. Building at this scale becomes a practice of experiential planning. Experiential space planning embraces human movement. The architecture of the pedestrian is appreciated on foot. Experiential retail has come to represent the architecture and urbanism of mall complexes, the activities these multifunctional spaces offer and the social and cultural dynamics that emerge within them.

DP implements architecture and planning techniques to accommodate a host of additional functional requirements for the modern, urban mall. The social and commercial importance of the mall continues to grow, and as it does, DP explores ways by which the public spaces of retail can evolve to meet the needs of each new generation of consumers. Seeing malls as generators of social activity, supporting and integrating the increasingly convergent social and lifestyle needs, DP’s mall designs inject life and vibrancy through softer social spaces. Having undertaken the design and transformation of many shopping malls along Orchard Road and in cities around the world over the years, DP has built an extensive expertise on different types of shopping mall concepts that has put the firm on the forefront of retail development in Asia.

The Dubai Mall

Area: 555,600sqm
Year of Completion: 2008
Location: Middle East