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Shopaholic Heavens, by Design

ARA Asset Management Ltd is a real estate colossus with decades of experience behind them in the broader Asian region; with a keen business interest in redeveloping retail malls. Their foray into Malaysia began with 1 Mont Kiara, expanding to include Citta Mall, AEON Melaka, Klang Parade and Ipoh Parade.

Grace Chen from The Star looked at how mall redesigns and new malls are being crafted in a certain way to maximize benefits to the community
Malaysia was already replete with news of beautifully constructed, yet poorly managed shopping venues that do not meet the needs of the community they serve, thus explaining the lack of enthusiasm amongst prospective investors.

ARA noticed this trend among lacklustre malls, where insufficient attention was given to context, with ARA subsequently making the wise choice in commissioning architects well known for their pragmatic approach.

As part of Orchan’s strategy to highlight the credibility and long term desire to establish their presence in Malaysia; our focus shifted to exploring the partners and understanding the philosophy behind their intentions, especially design-related.

Kimmy Foo from Focus Malaysia interviewing Darryl Yamamoto on "designing efficient malls"
Architect Darryl Yamamoto was key to this process. Darryl was hired precisely for his efficacious methodology when it came to building redesign; and so, it was also Agency’s initiative to feature Darryl in multiple media channels to educate the public on his design philosophy while generating publicity for the malls.

Unlike architects who insists on incorporating aesthetical “must haves” in a building, Darryl surveyed and researched the local retail scene extensively by comparing then gauging malls’ successes to better understand the Malaysian shopping experience. One major discovery was the growing trend amongst shoppers who visit malls not to shop, but to participate in recreational activities with friends and families.

This isn’t to say that patrons weren’t spending at malls; rather, the source of the motivations came elsewhere. A prime example would be the booming café culture in Malaysia, where people frequent cafés not for the sake of caffeine, interestingly enough, but to attend reunions and conduct meetings.

Hence, with information like this, Darryl set forth into creating the appropriate atmosphere for such purposes to maximise mall traffic.


Shanghai Monthly
Shanghai Monthly


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