Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Arena Centar in Zagreb, Croatia by UPI-2M
June 20th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: UPI-2M
COMMERCIAL AND ENTERTAINMENT CENTER „ARENA CENTAR“
‘Arena Center’ has specific connection with the multifunctional hall ‘Arena Zagreb’ over the newly formed piazza. On the western side 3 pedestrian platforms are interlocked with huge pedestrian platform of ‘Arena Zagreb’ – together they create new urban unit within existing area. The complex and the hall generated a significant contribution to urbanity and development of the neglected and undeveloped city area.
Selling area in ‘Arena Center’ is spread on 62.000,00 square meters of which 10 large and 200 small or medium stores + one hyper market which takes 10.000,00 square meters; multiplex Cine Star with 9 theatres in + IMAX theatre. Offer goes further on numerous gastronomic and entertainment contents. Parking area is secured on 3285 parking places of which 1871 are situated inside underground garage.
‘Arena Center’ is the first commercial complex in Croatia and in Europe, equipped with advanced technologies for people with special needs – partly sighted or deaf people – that includes acoustic signalization in elevators, informational brochures with relief layouts accessible at specialized informational stands, checkpoints, line guides on the floor to ease the motion of partly sighted people and with other features for people with special needs.
The building is organised in several parts: shopping area, gastronomy units such as cafés, restaurants and fast food, the entertainment area, business and storage rooms with garage and parking lot and technical rooms. ‘Arena Canter’ is built on 3 floors (ground floor + 1st floor + 2nd floor) and underground garage. The ground floor is mostly occupied with shopping mall which is organised to surround the gallery that goes through both floors of shopping area.
The gallery can be approached from the main entrance on north-east part and two other entrances – one on western and other on northern side. The southern part of ground floor is reserved for the hypermarket with organised delivery and supplying system from the partly covered supplying yard. The second floor is organised in entertainment and gastronomy contents, such as multiplex Cine Star, bowling alley, restaurants & cafés and part of the mechanical facilities with boiler room. Parking area exists as the underground garage and parking lot above ground located on eastern and western side of the hypermarket, connected with access ramps which already are part of the building.
In creating this project, we tried to move away from the usual concept of shopping centres in several elements: the idea of the external design, we wanted a constant visual dynamic facade – display because of its layers exactly acting so. Playing with lines and stainless steel mesh visual experience of the building is constantly changing, particularly from the dynamic perspective of a car which gives a feeling as if facade is moving… by night, the same effect is achieved thanks to the finely dispersed LED lighting.
A different approach in working out this project conceived the idea of having a modern and unique outdoor landscape, instead of very usual environment that shopping centres have: a common view on a grand parking lot. A well arranged and designed landscape made a great contribution in originality, functionality and came as an added value of the whole area. The leading idea is to present the variety of outdoor space in all segments. The landscape design embodies many different elements and is truly a multifunctional. Diverse vegetation and flower gardens has been chosen by the criterion that provides a visual, auditory, olfactory and tactile experience for visitors. Flowers and trees are following a concept of living and active environment and are selected by its representativeness of the particular season: spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
Modern urban equipment is carefully arranged around the building – the simple and clean lines made by the Croatian product designers’ are corresponding with functionality requirements as well as with offered aesthetical criteria. The unusual didactic children’s playground consists also of reliefs, oval grassy hills with depressions, piano wooden, hill of tartan that serves as a playground with no danger of cars, 3 didactic walls – funny mirror, school board with chalks for drawing and a colourful concrete wall with holes for wriggling.
A highlight of the playground is a spiral amphitheatre for the children with sand floor than during the winter can easily be transformed into an ice rinka The trails and sensory for the visually impaired are provided – come in form of tactile map towards to each entrance to the complex and connected to a bus stop. Shuttle bus with regular daily lines is provided as well as drop-off zones that enable direct car access in front of two entrances to a complex.
Besides, the unconventional outdoor illumination makes this place a unique environment: interpolation of various light effects and idea of “the place with the story,” revive the imaginative lighting with the aim of leaving a strong atmospheric impression on the visitors.
This great progress in designing shopping centres ultimately fulfilled functional, but also fun, decorative and visual criteria of the most demanding needs of end users – from small children, younger age visitors, older visitors, partially sighted people, pets (pets’ friendly zones) and all others…