A new retail dimension
Ceragres Tile Group
Any discussion of the architecture of new commercial and socialisation spaces must address some of the key mechanisms behind the social and demographic transformations of the third millennium. Remodelling and expansion of the Scarborough Town Centre shopping mall in Toronto, a project that began in 2008 and was completed in November 2010, provides an eloquent example of the relationship between these new retail and lifestyle spaces and the evolving needs of modern society. When the new shopping centre was built in 1973, Scarborough had a population of about 200,000. The district – part of the city of Toronto, capital of the province of Ontario and the largest city in Canada – now has more than 600,000 inhabitants. The growing population of the area prompted the city council and private businesses to adapt the number and quality of services to the changing pace of modern living and new lifestyle models. The general programme for redevelopment of the area included the remodelling and expansion project for the city’s shopping centre, which now extends over a retail area of 122,000 square metres hosting 240 shops and service points on two levels. Commissioned by Oxford Properties Group, the renovation work was assigned to the Montréal-based practice Pappas Design, one of the foremost Canadian firms specialising in store and shopping centre design. The project aimed to create a more hospitable and sophisticated space and included the construction of a new customer service centre and the general remodelling of the architecture, the entrances, the food hall, the lighting system, the transport systems and the furnishings, which were custom designed and made. The centre’s floor covering was entirely renewed by laying porcelain tiles from Ceramiche Caesar’s highly versatile and visually striking Natural collection over the existing floor. The new floor covering, which uses the collection’s four natural colours (the sophisticated Kernel beige, the elegant Antalya brown, the luminous Pearl grey and the delicate Havana), caters for both aesthetic demands and ecological and functional requirements and creates perceptual pathways that guide visitors through the plethora of offerings and sales outlets. In keeping with its commitment to eco-sustainability and care for the environment, the project was an opportunity for the centre to optimise its green strategies. This has involved replacing inefficient infrastructures, expanding the recycling programme, fitting brightness sensors and cutting water consumption by replacing the old systems. Another new feature are the large skylights made of high-performance glass, which not only improve the aesthetic quality of the ceilings but also bring energy savings by reducing incident solar radiation and preventing overheating of the spaces.