by Tony Quinn
Shopping Centre News
30 Sep 2014
pp. 10-12

article

Three recent finalists in the 2014 European Shopping Centre Awards caught my attention from three different countries, namely Sweden, Turkey and the Czech Republic.

I’ll start with the Centrum Cerny Most in Prague which also gained a finalist award. It welcomed its first customers in March 2013 to its 79,000 square metres and 3,200 carspaces offering a diverse range of fashion brands, sports stores, cosmetics, home improvement retailers as well as restaurants. The centre is located in a densely populated catchment area of Prague and is designed in the shape of an ‘8’ with most of the shops on one level including Marks and Spencer, H & M and New Yorker. Its slick interiors and high shopfronts create a modern fresh backdrop to the speciality shop lining its curvaceous malls.

Emporia is a 194,000 square metre centre over three levels plus office and residential components. Its strengths rest on four pillars: its location close to Copenhagen and Malmo, size and range, its design adding to its market position and finally an innovative and highly developed market concept.

It offers a wide range of shopping and an equally comprehensive food offer. There’s a 600-seat food court and restaurants and cafés on other floors. Emporia is Sweden’s first environmentally certified shopping centre, focused on issues related to energy, environment management, water, material, waste, land use, ecology and pollution.

The green roof park atop the centre is an important element in the centre’s magnificent views across Oresund and Malmo and it covers 26,700 square metres. The centre’s stunning entrances are made up from over 800 coloured panes of glass bent into unique shapes - one called the Amber entrance and the other the Sea, with colour reflecting both. As well as being a shopping destination, Emporia has 10,700 square metres of office space set above the Amber entrance.

Next is Turkey’s Forum Kayseri which is a redevelopment of the city’s former stadium into a shopping and community destination in the heart of Kayseri. It offers 66,000 square metres of retail with such major international brands as Lacoste, Timberland, Swarovski and New Balance. The centre offers 16 cafes, restaurant and food outlets covering different cuisines and tastes.

Elements of traditional architecture of the region are mixed with more contemporary, creating a bulk and form in keeping with its surrounds. A variety of materials and colours are used in the interiors to define the centre’s various malls.