Funan has taken a bold step in creating a lifestyle destination and landmark project to cater for the tech savvy and socially astute public in the heart of Singapore’s CBD. Located at the heart of Singapore’s Civic & Cultural District at 109 North Bridge Road, Funan is owned by CapitaLand Mall Trust and designed by Woods Bagot.
Funan just held its groundbreaking ceremony early in September 2016 and will be relaunching in Q4 2019 on the site of the former Funan DigitaLife Mall. Building on its legacy as the definitive IT mall in Singapore over the last three decades, Funan will go beyond selling IT products to incorporating the tech experience throughout the entire development.
The design concept focuses on the need to develop a highly open and permeable environment. Flexibility is a key principle and the design showcases its capability to continually change to cater for a range of different activities throughout the day. The design intent is to create a porous streetscape environment on the ground floor, which significantly enhances the pedestrian connection between North Bridge Road and Hill Street.
The walkway adjacent to The Treasury building will also be enhanced as a cycle path integrated with the surrounding network proposed by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. A proposal to include a bike café in the main atrium to promote healthy living in the community will encourage cyclists to enter Funan.
The retail interiors layout was developed around the concept of "Passion Clusters". The “Tree of Life”, a multi-level structure, becomes a stacked vertical window to showcase and express the activities taking place in the Passion Clusters.
The “Passion Clusters” concept includes incubator spaces where new-to-market or up-and-coming retailers showcase their designs; experimental spaces which offer innovative products or new concepts; as well as community spaces which provide environments to foster connections and collaborations. These clusters form the driving concept of the spacial organisation of space.
“The Tree of Life” is Funan’s design centrepiece. It will be the ‘go-to destination' for the cities maker communities. Extending from Basement 2 to Level 4, this wood-and-steel structure supports a variety of open spaces and studios that promote new forms of retail, experimentation and social learning.
The retail façade manifests as the roots of the "Tree of Life" growing out from the centre of the development and reaching out to the city, growing on the creative energy of Singapore. The panels simultaneously wrap and expose program and circulation routes to create and highlight dramatic entrances, balconies, and exterior F&B spaces, that breaks down the massing of the building to have a dialogue with the surrounding urban fabric at a human scale. The perforated, diagonally folded, and undulating panel design developed out of abstraction of root growth patterns and cell structures to create a dynamic movement across the facade, while an industrial bronze colour was chosen for its rawness that alludes to a relationship with the maker community.
In line with Funan’s experiential focus, dining will become an educational and fun process. In support of the “from farm to table” movement, Funan will feature a 4,000 sq ft rooftop urban farm where the public can learn more about the origins of their food and “adopt a plot” to grow their own produce. Coupled with the 12,000 sq ft food garden, this will be the largest area set aside for urban agriculture in the CBD. Food trucks will also be driven into the project to further enhance the dining experience.