Thursday, March 25, 2010

Malaysia's retail experience

It's amazing that I have so much to blog about after a 5 day trip to KL. Hopefully there will be more inspiration to come :)
Though our retail therapy is not as advanced as Singapore and Bangkok, the shopping centers in Kuala Lumpur still have much to offer for tourists and local residents alike.

One gripe which I have about our shopping centers is the inefficiency of public transport. For example, one of my friends who works in Mid Valley says that it takes 2 hours for him to make a one way trip from Mid Valley to Subang Jaya. Even when I visited Mid Valley last Monday, a supposedly 15 minute trip took 35 minutes, even though it was only one station away!

The Mid Valley complex has indeed grown quite a fair amount since I last saw it. It's currently constantly built upon with extra condominiums, hotels and their supporting industries.

Unfortunately, judging by the amount of space these huge retail complexes require, there's often not much space left for plants, which just act as supporting graphic elements.

There's a nice skybridge connecting the Gardens and Mid Valley. Lot's of floor to ceiling glass give it an airy feel.

Center court atrium in Mid Valley

The interplay of light and shadow when the sunlight shines through the glass roof is quite interesting.

There's a spacious skybridge linking Mid Valley and the Gardens.

The Gardens is an upmarket shopping mall aimed to rival Pavilion at Bukit Bintang.It's interesting how they've used several 'sails' to admit diffused light into the mall. And as you can see also, on a Monday morning, there's almost no one in sight.

The internal angles created by the atriums and skybridges are quite dynamic when you photograph them with a wide lens.

Sunway Pyramid has taken a more interesting concept of promoting some 'cheesy' Egyptian elements into the shopping mall (at least for the old wing). Kinda reminds me of Robert Venturi's concept of the duck.

I'm not sure when large green urns were a part of Egyptian architecture :s

The main atrium looks a little gloomy without the inclusion of natural light. Looks like the Chinese New Year decorations are still there.

There's even an indoor ferris wheel...

... and a large skating rink. Unfortunately I was never good at balancing myself, hence I don't think I will be visiting one soon.

The main entrance of Pavilion is where the mob dance occured after the Olympus presentation at Lot 10

We Malaysians are always busy with our hands, hence the necessity to include signs such as "Do not touch! Do not cross!"

This large skylight emits plenty of natural light into the main atrium.

KL's shopping centers are a fry cry from the retail experience in Melbourne, which mostly consists of arcades, street boutique shops, cafes, and the occasional 'large' DFO shopping mall at Docklands and Westfield. Nonetheless, shopping centers are here to stay. Just be careful to not have your wallet emptied at the cashiers!



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