Named for the word “illumination”, the Iluma shopping mall features a crystal mesh façade that appears to be illuminated at random. It is said to be the largest permanent media façades to have been installed, a technology that was created for the mall by WOHA Architects (Singapore) and realities:united (Berlin). The building construction completed in November 2009, while it began in 2005, when the Singapore government offered a street-level parking lot for sale and redevelopment as part of an existing long-term master plan to transform the 235-acre Bras Basah.Bugis area, on the northeast edge of downtown, into an arts, culture, learning, and entertainment district.

“The curving, undulating, overlapping and overhanging floor plans,” says Wong, “were meticulously adjusted to create an open, outdoor plaza space [on level 7], an indoor activity space on the ground floor, and two levels of atriums [that provide] an amphitheater quality, so that one can see and feel more activities in the complex.”

The exterior of Iluma is dynamic, with different floors featuring different façade shapes. These different shapes serve different purposes such services as parking, cinemas and performance spaces. Inside, a 40 meter-tall atrium serves as the interior focal point, and all roads lead here. The atrium is divided into two levels, with retail services downstairs, and entertainment options upstairs. Above, a lush, open-air rooftop terrace, complete with theater, event space and a café, creates an urban tropical oasis. Iluma shopping mall is geared towards young urban professionals. The store selection is heavy towards fashion, food & beverage, and entertainment. Unusual for a shopping mall, it does not seem to have an anchor department store.

Photographs: Tim Griffith & Patrick Bingham-Hall

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