At 12 storeys, Orchard Central is Singapore’s first high-rise shopping centre. Communicating a new mode of connectivity with its urban site and environs, the design of Orchard Central wraps and injects private commercial space with the public space of Orchard Road, activating all 12 storeys of the mall with street linkages.
The façade hosts an exploratory circulation system that places the visitor in unique relationships with the surrounding city: a series of open-air escalators and landings extend the experience of the sidewalk at ground level onto landscaped roof decks at the 11th and 12th storeys. Numerous vantage points designed within the façade encourage a surgical exploration of the city, as one travels upward and through the building’s skin.The roof deck is a lushly landscaped outdoor setting that operates as a park – a new public space that offers views outward, conflating the mall with the space of the city. This enveloping circulatory system also extends inward, puncturing internal spaces of shops and restaurants.
The exploratory aspects of Orchard Central’s façade work to slow the process of shopping. Rather than moving through retail spaces as an act of efficiency, shoppers are persuaded to engage with the shopping experience.