CapitaLand malls have expanded the concept of the traditional shopping centre to allow shoppers to experience the performing arts, art and sports, and provide opportunities for education and community work
CapitaLand malls have expanded the concept of the traditional shopping centre to allow shoppers to experience the performing arts, art and sports, and provide opportunities for education and community work
(Photo credit: SDT)

Catch a ballet while the hubby hunts down the perfect pair of hiking boots and the kids sit down to some burgers and fries? Once you would have to trawl the town to do all these. Now, everything can happen under one roof. Welcome to some of our CapitaLand malls, where we redefine the traditional concept of shopping centres. Our malls deliver immersive experiences, keenly aware that modern families strapped for time need a place where there is something for everybody.

“As Asia’s leading mall developer, owner and manager with the biggest network of 20 shopping malls in Singapore, CapitaLand Mall Asia integrates the arts, heritage and sports into the design and daily operations of many of our malls for the enjoyment of our shoppers and the communities around our malls, and this support takes the shape of different forms,” says Teresa Teow, Head of Retail Management Singapore, CapitaLand Mall Asia.

A Platform for Performing

Beyond shopping, dining and entertainment, CapitaLand malls now make the performing arts more accessible to the general public. As part of the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s Community/Sports Facilities Scheme, Bugis+ now houses local performing arts group, Singapore Dance Theatre (SDT).

“It is a good fit with the mall’s position as an entertainment mall located in the heart of Singapore’s civic and cultural district. Members of the public now have the chance to appreciate the work of SDT up close,” says Ms Teow.

Shoppers have been known to wander to the seventh floor to watch dance rehearsals through the glass wall, something the dance company welcomes as part of its effort to make ballet accessible to more people.

"The new space is immeasurably better than our old home at Fort Canning Park. The studios have been designed to specification. The walls are glass panels and mirrors, allowing members of the public to see what we do. And our efforts to engage with the public have been 100 times more successful because of the accessible location near Bugis MRT," says SDT’s artistic director, Janek Schergen.

In anticipation of SDT’s performance of Swan Lake at the Esplanade in December, shoppers can catch a sneak preview of the famous ballet at the Level 2 Atrium of Bugis+. Drop by at 1pm on 14 November and get up close and personal with the entire cast. There will be a chance to snap a picture with the talented performers at a photo-taking session, and the actual opulent costumes will be on display for shoppers to admire.

Apart from putting up special events like these, SDT conducts regular dance classes and behind-the-scene tours to its shoe rooms and costume set room. Rehearsals provide a glimpse into the dance troupe’s routines, while putting the spotlight on the world of ballet.

“In the same way a garden provides something special to a house, SDT provides balance and harmony to the mall,” adds Schergen.

At other CapitaLand malls, shoppers can enjoy live theatre performances while they shop and dine. In the past few years, Lot One Shoppers’ Mall and Bukit Panjang Plaza have partnered children’s theatre company, Act 3 International, to organise Inside Out, a series of interactive and educational acts for shoppers.

Induction into Art

At ION Orchard, art lovers are in for a visual treat. The mall has successfully woven art into its spaces, with sculptures like the Nutmeg and Urban People outside the mall, and the ION Waterfall within.

In addition, it has a 5,600 sq ft art gallery, ION Art, the largest of its kind to date and the only dedicated art space within a mall in Singapore.

“Since its inception in 2009, ION Art has been well received by visitors of all profiles, a fitting testament to its success in providing a varied mix of art exhibitions each year,” says Chris Chong, CEO, Orchard Turn Developments Pte Ltd.

“ION Art is a distinctive proposition of ION Orchard that sets the mall apart by promising shoppers a holistic and multi-sensory lifestyle experience. By making art easily accessible with ION Art, shoppers are able to savour the best in shopping, dining, art and design all under one roof at their own convenience and leisure. ION Art also works with tenants within the mall to present their brands through art in new and refreshing ways.”

ION Art has also launched the Young Talent Programme, a collaboration with Affordable Art Fair Singapore which seeks to develop emerging artists aged 18 to 35. Complementing this is the ION Art Photography Series which supports mid-career and established Singaporean photographers. ION Orchard has been the venue sponsor for Noise Singapore since 2010, and has partnerships with MI Singapore Fringe Festival and Act 3 International to host their events.

For its contribution, ION Orchard was honoured with the Patron of the Arts Award by the NAC this year, following its wins in 2012 and 2014 and its Arts Supporter Award in 2013.

CapitaLand malls in the residential districts are also bringing people closer to art. Bedok Mall has a specially commissioned set of sculptures by renowned Korean artist, Kim Gyoung Min, depicting a family of five shopping. This is the first time Kim’s work is being displayed in Singapore. Set at the mall’s entrance, the coloured bronze statues in the artist’s signature fun and playful style is a welcome sight for every shopper.

At Westgate, shoppers are treated to four sculptures that celebrate family, nature and city living, which have been installed around its ground floor and form part of the mall’s art trail.

Making Merry with Music and Sport

Music is another prominent feature at Westgate, which is the first mall in Singapore with a designated busking area under NAC’s Busking Scheme. So diners are treated to live music while they eat.

Across the road at JCube, sports is the theme. The Rink, Singapore’s only Olympic-size ice rink is popular with families and groups who enjoy ice-skating.

A Playground for the Whole Family

Then there is Westgate Wonderland at Westgate – Singapore’s largest thematic outdoor playground in a mall. This child-friendly facility makes the retail destination a fun stop for all ages, turning mall visits into a true family affair. At this 11,000-square foot fantasy land on the fourth floor, fun comes in mega doses. Children and adults alike can frolic among larger-than-life flora and fauna installations. Admission is free. A 10-metre tall tree house with winding slides and climbing structures, giant insects, huge musical flowers, and an upsized watering can that sprays water make up the dry and wet areas as well as play zones for children of different ages. At night, the playground comes alive with special lighting and sound effects. The bluebells chime and light up when touched, and a kaleidoscope of spinning blooms put up a mesmerising light show on the ground. There is also a 4,600-square foot indoor club house, Kids Club, on Level 5.

Established US theme park designer, Adirondack Studios, was hired to design this one-of-a-kind children’s indoor playground. Given that their previous works include attractions at Universal Studios and Disneyland, it is little wonder that Westgate Wonderland has wowed visitors.

Says Eddie Lim, Centre Manager for Westgate: “With the playground’s larger-than-life imaginary landscape, we hope to create an inspired play space for our young shoppers and make their visit to Westgate more enjoyable and memorable. Shoppers now have one more thing to look forward to at Westgate, the premier mall in the west of Singapore, where they can enjoy a shopping experience previously found only in the city.”

Serving and Educating People

At other CapitaLand malls, shoppers can find out more about volunteering opportunities by visiting the charities located in their premises. The National Council of Social Services as well as Wicare, a support group for the widowed, have their offices at Junction 8’s office tower. The Atrium@Orchard’s International Involvement Hub is home to the Singapore International Foundation, Singapore Red Cross, Singapore Institute of International Affairs, and Temasek Foundation.

Heartland libraries at Lot One Shoppers’ Mall and Bukit Panjang Plaza, and NTUC First Campus’ pre-school, My First Skool at Westgate mean that families can offer varied experiences to their little ones.

Our CapitaLand malls aim to provide diverse leisure and entertainment options within their spaces to allow families and friends to pursue their various interests under one roof. Busy folks can fully maximise their time as they gather at our malls to do what they love most, before coming together again to share their experiences over a hearty meal. With these unique gifts of space and time, we aim to constantly surprise and wow our shoppers. What are you waiting for? Head on down to one of these malls soon!