Funan to bid farewell to 31-year-old building with Thank You Party as it prepares for ‘till we meet again’ in 2019
Outpouring of public support with over 1,000 ideas received for #BeyondIT campaign to help shape mall into experiential hub of the future
Singapore, 30 June 2016 – Today marks the last operational day for 31-year-old Funan DigitaLife Mall, which will be closed after tonight for three years of redevelopment works. This evening, CapitaLand senior management will host a Thank You Party for some 400 invited guests comprising tenants, loyal shoppers and mall staff at Funan’s Main Atrium, to celebrate the mall’s milestones in the last three decades as it prepares to start a new chapter to redevelop itself into an experiential hub of the future. To cater to shoppers who may want to take their last photographs and videos of the mall on this momentous occasion, Funan will be open to the public today from 7am to 11pm.
As the definitive IT mall over the last three decades, Funan holds a special place in the hearts of Singaporeans. To involve them in Funan’s transformation, CapitaLand and The Straits Times launched the #BeyondIT crowdsourcing campaign which invited the public to imagine its future beyond an IT mall. The call met with enthusiastic response and more than 1,000 ideas were received from 15 April to 31 May 2016. As a testament to Funan’s broad appeal, participants representing different generations of shoppers aged seven to 77 shared their wish lists for the new mall.
Mr Wilson Tan, CEO, CapitaLand Mall Trust Management Limited, said, “We are heartened and inspired by the public’s enthusiastic response to shape the transformation of Funan into a mall of the future. Funan has become the icon it is today because of the passion of its people, including shoppers, tenants and staff. The new Funan will continue this lineage and strive to be a dynamic mall that enables and supports the passions of the communities it serves. Technology has always been a big part of Funan and we will build on that legacy, moving from just selling IT products to enriching people’s lives with technology. This is not a 'goodbye', it simply means ‘till we meet again’. We thank everyone who has been a part of Funan, and we look forward to welcoming them back with even more exciting offerings in the new Funan. See you in three years’ time!”
Singapore graffiti artist Ceno2, best known for his fine art spraying style inspired by classical painters such as Michelangelo and Rembrandt, will be presenting his graffiti art interpretation of the #BeyondIT ideas to party attendees. Thereafter, the artwork will adorn the hoarding of the new integrated development on the Funan site for the public’s enjoyment.
In line with the recent revitalisation of the Civic and Cultural District where the mall is located, Funan has been earmarked by its owner CapitaLand Mall Trust to be redeveloped into an integrated development measuring 870,000 square feet (sq ft), almost double its current size of 482,000 sq ft.
Outpouring of public support for #BeyondIT
A black box theatre with adjustable seats to accommodate different types of performances, running and cycling tracks along the mall’s perimeter to promote an active lifestyle, and an app that helps drivers remember where they parked their cars in the mall. These are among the more than 1,000 ideas submitted by the public for the new Funan as the Singapore landmark prepares to embark on a new chapter as an experiential mall of the future housed within a new-generation integrated development.
Four key themes emerged from the #BeyondIT campaign that encapsulate shoppers’ aspirations for the mall of the future – experiential retail, smart shopping technologies, lifestyle hub and sustainable living. Ideas for an engaging and interactive experience in the new Funan include a virtual-reality experience corner and a state-of-the-art cinema featuring a 360-degree screen. Affirming Funan’s role as a hub for the tech-savvy, several shoppers called for the new mall to play host to the emerging maker movement1 with hobby fairs, workshops and even a library of gadgets to promote sharing of resources and inspire community connections.
In line with Singapore’s Smart Nation vision, many aspire to a smart shopping experience powered by the latest technologies in the new Funan. Innovations high on the wish list include an app that serves as a personal digital shopping assistant, hands-free shopping with deliveries of purchases by drones, and service robots in restaurants and stores. Many also see an opportunity for the new Funan to serve as a central hub for learning about technology, from basic classes to coding classes for more advanced users, and everything in between.
Recognising Funan’s central location in the heart of a cultural precinct, many shoppers also envision the new Funan as an open and energetic space with plenty of lifestyle offerings suitable for the whole family. Suggestions include sports facilities such as wall climbing, trampoline and a basketball court. Photography enthusiasts hope for a local photographers’ gallery to showcase local talents and provide a creative space for them to converge and exchange ideas.
As Singaporeans become more environmentally conscious, shoppers also hope that the new Funan can serve as a model for sustainable living. Ideas include an indoor garden, a largescale urban farm and a supermarket that champions local produce. In support of the car-lite movement, the new Funan can also incorporate a cycling path and host a bicycle sharing scheme that encompasses docking stations in other CapitaLand buildings.
1 The maker movement is a tech-centric extension of the Do-It-Yourself culture combining electronics, 3D printing and hacking with traditional arts and crafts.