Changing the urban fabric, one mall at a time

The New Perspective

Looking from the train station’s platform, it is quite interesting to see how two malls have been designed to be beside each other. With the gentle play of lights from the H&M pavilion, to the well-planted greens, it is not just stacks of concrete boxes. The two facades of the malls seem to almost converge at a point, although only leaving a slit of the sky.

In between the two malls, is a street donned with seats and landscaping creating a gentle pathway that the public can walk through and also take a rest. So, taking a right turn, one would enter Jem through the entrance next to Starbucks. This is where you start to be amazed by the design of the mall.

The greens planted at the ground level of the mall made the transition from the outside to the interior of the mall very gentle and pleasant. Jem is one of the first few malls that had interior greenery that is not unnatural.

From the green urban pathways at the ground level to the skylight, Jem changes throughout the day. The interplay between the man-made skylight fixtures and the leaves of the trees in the mall create a beautiful living foliage that produces soft and gentle shadows in the day on the floors of the shopping mall. The visual effects of the factors above create a very gentle architecture that is not too brutal for the daily commuter.

It is quite a change, from the usual box shopping malls that we have here in Singapore. The trees planted transform the mall’s walkways into indoor pedestrian streets and they also visually connect the different levels of the mall. One can sense the communal-focused setting that the architect has created for Jem, and it fits for the location.