June 28, 2019
Representing a new era in retail and mixed-use design, the redevelopment of CapitaLand’s Funan DigitaLife Mall, has been designed as a civic hub where life is experienced efficiently and thoughtfully thanks to this experiential concept that includes retail, entertainment, leisure, wellness, dining, offices, co-working and co-living environments.
Project Owners CapitaLand were keen for their designers, Woods Bagot’s Hong Kong studio, to deliver a new era for retail. With the rise of online shopping and the decline of brick-and-mortar retail stores, the team was tasked with maximizing engagement for a new tech-savvy generation.
Early project workshops centered around the future of retail and meeting the requirement to create a destination that encourages discovery and entices people to consistently come back. After their initial discovery and analysis, Woods Bagot recommended the complete redevelopment of the site to create Funan, an integrated mixed-use development that maximizes the site’s potential and takes advantage of its prime location.
The project’s design concept is manifested in The Tree of Life – the centerpiece at the heart of Funan, around which Woods Bagot has created an efficient retail offering. This 25-metre, six-story wood and steel structure provides spaces for brands to showcase their products and crafts, and for entrepreneurs and design ateliers to conduct classes and workshops.
The Tree of Life is a habitat for creativity. Referred to as “passion clusters”, the Tree’s branches offer environments for technology, fitness, dining, craft, shopping and play areas that are destinations for expression. On the Connector Floor – Level Four – The Tree of Life encourages circulation to enjoy dining, theatre, wellness, offices, co-working, co-living and outdoor space.
Green stairs, which nurture exercise and movement, lead from the Connector Floor to Level 7, which is home a 5,000 square foot rooftop urban garden, the largest in Singapore’s CBD. There is also an 18,000 square foot food garden, a futsal court and outdoor leisure space. Additionally, the office blocks on the upper levels have external stairs that provide easy accessibility to green spaces and promote wellness.
Funan’s co-living component is operated by lyf, a new brand from Ascott, CapitaLand’s wholly-owned serviced residence owner-operators. Lyf provides 279 units spanning 121,000 square feet on nine stories. Lyf was developed for millennials who favor connecting and collaborating within communities.
With the mandate that Funan connect to the city, it has been designed to be flexibly ventilated and accessible by pedestrians and bicycles 24 hours a day. The building links to tourist routes in the city – on foot and bicycle – as well as key landmarks in
Woods Bagot Director Stephen Jones shared that the firm’s involvement in the development of Funan, which began in 2015, spanned discovery and visioning, master planning, architecture and interior design. “The opportunity allowed us to oversee an international team of creatives to deliver a highly-integrated, richly layered project that we believe marks a new era in retail.”