Funan’s Tree of Life envisions retail woven into its architecture

by • May 23, 2019 • Commercial Property LoanComments (0)917

Behind Funan’s copper-brass coloured façade along North Bridge Road, a giant “tree” has taken root in the centre of the mall – christened Funan’s Tree of Life, it is ready to support retailers in their storytelling and shelter shoppers taking a break from their exploration. Extending from Basement 2 to Level 4, the 25-metre tall majestic Tree of Life is the design centrepiece of Funan.

Predominantly made of steel, the 25-metre-tall Tree of Life offers spaces for brands to showcase their products and crafts, and for entrepreneurs and design ateliers to conduct classes and workshops.

Visually, Funan’s Tree of Life is the first thing that visitors see when they step into the mall; symbolically, it functions as the source of life to enliven Funan through fostering creativity and curiosity.

Predominantly made of steel, Funan’s Tree of Life houses 20 retail pods for brands to showcase their products and crafts, and for entrepreneurs and design ateliers to conduct classes and workshops. Representing Funan’s commitment to offer differentiated experiences for shoppers, it supports coretailing by providing a platform for brands – both emerging and established – to stage their brand moments with limited period pop-up concepts.

Funan’s Tree of Life is complemented by a variety of creative retailing formats and experiential offerings to keep consumers engaged throughout the day, every day.

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These include W!ld Rice theatre, Golden Village cineplex, TFX fitness centre, Climb Central indoor rock climbing, The Ark futsal facility, ABC Cooking Studio and farm-to-table dining at Japanese restaurant Noka in collaboration with Edible Garden City.

Funan's Tree of Life

Funan’s Tree of Life – The skylight above mimics the growth conditions of a tree in Mother Nature. In a way, the display symbolises the growth and flourishing of retail talents from the creative centre of Funan towards the rest of the city.

Mr Chris Chong, Managing Director, Retail, CapitaLand Singapore, said: “As the retail landscape undergoes disruptions, the formula for a successful mall has to evolve as well. While a decade ago a mall can succeed largely on the merit of its tenant brands, today it must be able to anchor its own community of supporters and followers.

“Consumers of today don’t just buy products or services, they invest their time and effort in understanding brands and supporting relevant causes. Against this backdrop, Funan is CapitaLand’s interpretation of the mall as a platform for meaningful and enriching exchanges beyond the transactional. Its passion-led retail model, as embodied in the Tree of Life, aims to build interactive communities clustered around passion themes covering Chic, Craft, Fit, Play, Taste and Tech.

“Funan’s vision for retail reimagined is woven into its architecture. Designed as an open and inviting space, Funan welcomes consumers from all walks of life looking to expand their perspectives and engage in new activities. It brings together a wide range of passion-led experiences at a scale not seen before in Singapore’s Civic District.

“By incorporating spaces for performance, connection, collaboration and experimentation, Funan creates an exciting environment for shoppers to explore and provides retailers with a dynamic environment to innovate within. Funan also features plenty of green spaces, rest areas and interactive corners to encourage visitors to discover and experience.”

Funan’s Level 7 is home to a 18,000 sq ft Food Garden, where shoppers can experience a variety of edible plants through smell, touch and sight. The heart of the Food Garden is the 5,000 sq ft Urban Farm operated by Edible Garden City. One of the few urban farms in Singapore open to the public, it is designed as a production and functional space where visitors can learn how vegetables are produced and harvested.

A total of 250 tonnes of composite steel – equivalent to the weight of three massive mature rain trees – were used in the construction of Funan’s Tree of Life. The structure deploys long cantilevers, which provide a clear space underneath the beam without any supporting columns or bracing.

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This allows visitors to see through the structure, thereby creating a sense of spaciousness. The Tree of Life is supported by three main columns, from which some intermediate supports branched out. As the floor plan differs at every level, the structure needs to be adjusted and catered to connect with every floor. This makes the planning and construction of the Tree of Life especially challenging.

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