In reimagining the primary hotel lobby of Mandarin Singapore into a four-storey retail podium, the design scheme had to achieve two things: first, it must maintain the commanding presence of the building frontage on Orchard Road; and two, it must realise a retail space that is relevant to its time and age.
Cornered at a major intersection and pedestrian crossing, the site is bordered on three sides by vehicular street. Thus, to achieve the first design intent, significant reconfigurations of its conditions were made; effectively widening the promenade and opening Mandarin Gallery to a pedestrian-only traffic. This complements the second design strategy to reverse the conventional closed form of a mall. Design elements such as an eight-metre deep canopy, sheltered public promenade, double-volume shopfronts and an escalator directly connecting the promenade with an elevated landing and mall entrance on the second storey further invites pedestrian movement inwards.
A makeover of its façade reveals gentle glass curves with insets of white light boxes, spandrel panels and dark vertical fins. These in combination with its canopy design, which projects towards the street corners, give Mandarin Gallery an extended presence. Articulated, distinct and elegant, the mall stands not only as a premium retail space but also an extension of what Mandarin Singapore embodies.
DP Architects, DP Façade