Funan tops out in Singapore’s Civic District

Woods Bagot recently celebrated the topping out of Funan in the heart of Singapore’s Civic District. We are leading several aspects of the development, including master planning architecture, and interior design for the “mall of the future” that will enhance the city’s standing. Because the area has been rejuvenated into a  thriving art, cultural, and lifestyle precinct over the past several years, CapitaLand decided it was timely to redevelop Funan to synergize with its new surroundings. The result is a retail component, two office buildings, a co-living serviced residence and basement car parking.

“Funan’s innovation journey has scored several ‘firsts’ in Singapore. The significant interest in Funan points to the continued market demand for centrally-located and well-designed retail spaces that enjoy shopper traffic as part of a quality-integrated development,” Mr. Tong Tan, CEO of CapitaLand Mall Trust Management Limited, said at the topping-out ceremony.

Not only has the innovative retail project broken the mold, but it set several records in the city related to cutting-edge technology, transportation, and recreation. To provide shoppers with a hands-free experience, they will be able to utilize self-driving vehicles as well as a robotic arm for its 24-hour drive-through click-and-collect service. Patrons can also enjoy a series of tech-enabled conveniences such as app-based facilities booking, video-based smart car parking, and facial recognition turnstiles in the office towers. Funan will be the city’s first commercial development to allow cycling through the first floor of the building. The project includes the largest rooftop urban farm in the central business district – at over 370 square meters (4,000 square feet)—as well as the largest rock-climbing facility in the area.

Above from left: Boon Seong Quah, senior manager design management at CapitaLand; Woods Bagot director Stephen Jones; Shashi Kala, vice president project management at CapitaLand; and Woods Bagot principal Billy Ip at the topping-out ceremony at Funan Showsuit.

The Ascott Limited’s “lyf” brand—a co-living service directed at millennial travelers and professionals—gives the site a global dimension while providing its trendsetting guests with a local’s perspective. American tech service WeWork has partnered with Funan to provide shared office spaces and a community for “like-minded individuals driven by a passion for making a difference” in this bustling city. The effect will become an ecosystem where people can find inspiration, unwind, and enjoy a host of lifestyle activities under one roof.

“The redevelopment of Funan mall is a positive example of [Singapore’s] transformation. The new Funan mall will be Singapore’s first “Online & Offline” mall, with an omnichannel retail infrastructure to offer consumers a holistic, yet personalized retail experience,” Singapore’s Minister Heng Swee Keat said after previewing a range of digital innovations at the topping-out ceremony.

“This is an ultra-mixed use and highly integrated design that connects spaces laterally and vertically to provide an integrated environment that blurs traditional zones of function and experience. Funan’s public spaces, commercial functions, and cultural facilities are integrated. Connective elements such as the pedestrian tourist route that climbs over the building and an active bike path that winds through the ground floor required a unique strategy to organization and operations,” Regional Executive Chair or China Stephen Jones said.

As of November 2018, the construction is over 70 percent complete after breaking ground just over 18 months ago. The project is expected to be fully realized by 2019.