Brea Mall enjoys Italian-style renovation
Architectural Stone and Tile
When a newly renovated shopping mall was reopened in Brea, a small town in Orange County, California, on 16 April 2014 after just over a year of work, the occasion was marked by celebrations and events that went on for more than a month.
This was not the first renovation to have been carried out on this shopping mall, one of the busiest and most popular anywhere in Orange County. In 1998 it was purchased by the Indianapolis-based multinational Simon Property Group, which manages more than 100 shopping malls and outlets in the United States along with a further 15 in other countries around the world (including Italy, where a joint venture was set up with the La Rinascente group to build and operate new outlets). Originally constructed in 1977 as the Nordstrom chain’s second large mall in California, ten years later the complex underwent a major extension project that continued until the mid 1990s. This involved adding new floor space and volumes and providing new finishes for the interiors and exteriors.
A two-storey volume surrounded by large parking areas, Brea Mall adopts the same layout on the ground and first floors, consisting of retail spaces facing onto two plazas and distributed along five galleries. These galleries lead to the areas currently occupied by four major US department store chains (along with Nordstrom, also Macy’s, Sears and JCPenney), together with a further
175 specialist stores, a spa and numerous bars and restaurants.
The renovation project was launched in February 2013 as part of the property group’s strategy of improving the appeal and competitiveness of its malls. Highlights included restyled aesthetics and plenty of new spaces and services — including charging points for electric cars, wireless internet, children’s play areas and family spaces — as well as more comfortable furnishings, fresh floor and wall finishes and a meticulously redesigned artificial and natural lighting project.
In accordance with these guidelines, the multimillion-dollar project for the Brea complex sought to improve the functionality of interior spaces while refreshing the somewhat outdated aesthetics.
The four entrances were elevated and redesigned and new landscaping provided at the mall entrances. The importance of the main entrance is underscored by new signage that stands out in the dark against the illuminated backdrop.
Inside, the connections between the two floors have been improved with the installation of new escalators and a larger, faster elevator in the Central Court, while a children’s play area has been set up on the ground floor. Catering for the needs of parents, the new restrooms located alongside the play area are equipped with changing tables and feature comfortable furnishings and soft lighting.
The first floor balconies are protected by lightweight and unobtrusive new glass balustrades.
One of the highlights of this extensive renovation process was its skilful use of light and finishings, which were specially selected for their ability to transform the existing interiors. These include 10,000 square metres of new Italian porcelain tiles (in 30×60 cm and 60×60 cm sizes from Ceramiche Caesar) with a variety of designs, colours and finishes. Installed on all the ground and first floors, the tiles improved the comfort of the dining areas and brightened up the large surfaces.
Caesar, Concept.s and Tecnolito
30x60 - 60x60 cm
Tecnolito: Chocolate, Clay - Concept.s: Jura
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): 0,05%
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): compliant
Resistance to deep abrasion (ISO 10545-6): ≤ 145 mm3
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Frost resistance (ISO 10545-12): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 47 N/mm2 - Concept.s ; >= 50 N/mm2 Tecnolito
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): Tecnolito Naturale/matt: R9 - Concept.s Naturale/matt: R9A
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant