Champlain Mall

The specialized stores that dominate the market are a new force in the retail business, making way for commercial agglomerations of distinct buildings regrouped into “mega-complexes”. These centres pose a sizeable challenge to traditional centres designed as a grouping of small retail stores along an internal corridor that connects two or more department stores.

As a traditional centre, the Champlain Mall is a particularly striking case resulting from its atypical development governed by a site with complex and asymmetrical geometry.

The approach, as renewed and imagined by Indesign/CA, draws its guidelines from the urban planning of organic cities. These cities were able to surmount many issues to establish clear access paths and define a recognizable identity at major intersections. Historically the city of Rome, re-planned in the 17th century, with its obelisks and fountains to guide pilgrims to the town’s seven major churches, represents an excellent example of this urban approach.

The contemporary solution being contemplated for Champlain Mall consisted in giant glass sculptures of specific form and color, which would serve as guide lights for each of the internal plazas.