Shoppers yearn for retail centers that reflect the flavor of their community. A great way to achieve this is to use mixed-use strategies — even when working with one building type. Here are three ways how:
Decision-making is design
To create a center or mixed-use development that is more than the sum of its parts, designers and developers need to identify challenges and then make decisions together, earlier. This enables mixed-use projects to recall the excitement and urbanity of places that grow organically over time. To emulate those authentic layers in new developments, public amenities are carved from the spaces between individual project types. This requires owners to compromise, concede and negotiate. The extra time and up-front planning needed builds not simply a place to shop, but a community.
Callison allocates time to help clients understand the issues and navigate the choices before them. Then we facilitate discussions to deliver consensus on how to make the hotel, residential high-rise, office tower and retail center work together and not just reside in close proximity. These communications are not a corollary but are instrumental to design.
Everything old is …
While mixed-use generally refers to a new center that incorporates the strategies of traditional planning, many older centers now clamor for redevelopment. This presents the challenge of retaining the patina while integrating new elements that are more relevant to today's demographics. Callison leverages food and beverage, gourmet food markets, and entertainment venues to breathe new life in older developments.
Popping the lid
Specialty stores and food and beverage operators showcase their identities through signage and a branded exterior presence. It's one reason why the lids (roofs) are coming off malls and why new centers are increasingly open-air. As street presence becomes a greater component of multiple brand experiences, defining and then consistently executing a center's design strategy — historical, geographical, lifestyle-based — helps to develop the spaces between the brands, which creates a community.
1420 Fifth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
Size of Firm: 620
Year Established: 1975
Bob Tindall, AIA
George Wickwire, AIA