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A well-conceived, constantly renewed commercial and leisure offer is a prerequisite for the success of shopping centres. But they still need an attractive setting in which to show off effectively. This is where the architect and designer come in: their role is becoming increasingly important in creating sites that stimulate the imagination and generate new types of experiences. Nearly 300 architects and designers will be attending MAPIC this year.

Organised by Reed MIDEM, the International Retail Real Estate Market will be held in Cannes from 13th to 15th November. A Leisure Day devoted to leisure activities will be organised for the first time on 12th November, the day before MAPIC, to further explore this significant market trend.

Many developers are now calling on the leading names in architecture and design to create unique, flexible and scalable spaces that can adapt to new consumer expectations and behaviours as well as to the needs of retailers. The aim is to offer multi-functional spaces that can accommodate new types of use in leisure, catering, coworking, sports, services, and more.

Architects and designers attending MAPIC will include DDS+ (Belgium), Stir Architecture(Netherlands), Il Prisma (Italy), Hyphen (France), Elindersten Arkitkter (Sweden), Saguez & Partners (France), DDG (USA), Jaspers-Eyers (Belgium), BCI Studio (UK), BWMretail (Austria), Brio (France) and Design International (UK).

The projects showcased will enable MAPIC attendees to appreciate the personalisation provided by architectural options. Brightness and transparency (from atriums and glass roofs), better-quality materials, the integration of plants (green roofs as in Beaugrenelle, indoor gardens as in the Funan shopping centre of CapitaLand), and neat landscaping (e.g. for the Compagnie de Phalsbourg) all make new-generation commercial spaces even more welcoming and eco-friendly. In areas designed for relaxation and exchange, the furniture too can contribute creative forms, uses, materials and colours. This design focus even extends to car parks (Wave, Cap 3000, etc.) and toilets (Unibail Rodamco Westfield and Altarea have understood this well, as has Galeries Lafayette at their new Paris location) and forms part of the service offered to customers as well as part of the commercial proposal.

And for an extra emotional boost, art is making its debut in shopping centres (at Posnania in Poland and Muse in Metz developed by Apsys, at Polygone Riviera in Cagnes-sur-Mer by Socri and Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, in TheVillage Outlet near Lyon by the Compagnie de Phalsbourg, and in the future Europa City, among other sites).

This theme will also be addressed in the conference session “Iconic places & ‘love brand’ strategies: How to create emotions & passion between customers, brands & places” with Cécile Pujade, Associate Director Retail & International, Saguez & Partners; João Cepeda, President & Creative Director, Time Out Market; and Morgane Scoarnec, Leasing Director, Europa City, on Thursday 14th November at 3.30pm.

Once again this year, MAPIC will showcase new shopping-centre concepts from around the world and enable exhibitors and visitors alike to meet and discuss with those who know how to dramatize these ideas so well. “Shopping centres have the power to provide the kind of emotional experience that will attract consumers away from their computer screens and entice them into physical places by virtue of the quality of the architecture and design as well as the mix of brands, food diversity and leisure attractions,” says Nathalie Depetro, MAPIC’s director.

13novAll Day15MAPICRetail Focus Media Partner Event