Funan Inspires Real Estate Innovation with a New Live-Work-Play Paradigm
An exciting lifestyle destination plugged into the world of tech-and socially-savvy consumers will be coming up in 4Q 2019 on the site of the former Funan DigitaLife Mall, right in the heart of Singapore’s Civic & Cultural District at 100 North Bridge Road. Building on its legacy as the definitive IT mall in Singapore over the last three decades, Funan will go beyond selling IT products to incorporating the tech experience throughout the entire integrated development.
At the groundbreaking ceremony yesterday, CapitaLand Mall Trust announced that the new development will simply be called “Funan”, as a tribute to the site’s legacy and an acknowledgement of the public’s affection for the name. The shorter name also reflects the integrated development’s new role beyond a shopping mall and its modern sensibilities. Concept plans for the new development were unveiled at the event to show how Funan will be connecting the online world to the offline world (and vice versa), for its on-the-go mobile- first customers.
Mr Lim Ming Yan, President and Group CEO of CapitaLand Limited, said: “We are entering an exciting phase of real estate development driven by technology breakthroughs that are altering the fabric of our lives, and the coming-of-age of a whole generation of consumers who grew up with the internet. Funan is our response to these trends. As a new paradigm for live, work and play in Singapore’s city centre, Funan offers a synergistic combination of retail, office and apartment components that is designed to appeal to tech- and socially- savvy consumers pursuing quality of life in a socially-conscious and creative environment. The integrated development will house a mall of the future serving as a platform to inspire retail innovation; co-working spaces for the mobile workforce, freelancers and start-ups; and co-living apartments for hip, young professionals. With community, connectivity and convenience at its core, Funan will cater to the new breed of consumers who favour a collaborative environment and authentic experiences that reflect their passions and tastes.”
A platform to inspire retail innovation
As Funan’s centrepiece with a net lettable area of 324,000 square feet (sq ft), the retail component is positioned as a platform to inspire retail innovation with a strong focus on enabling shoppers to enjoy a myriad of experiences in line with their interests. Its offerings are organised around “passion clusters”, such as “tech”, “fit” and “taste”.
Under the tech cluster, movie theatre operator Golden Village plans to offer the first multi- dimensional cinematic experience for feature films in Singapore. Leading local foodcourt operator Kopitiam targets to introduce a new-generation high-tech food court named KOPItech that features innovations such as self-ordering kiosks, food collection conveyor belts and tray and crockery return robots. Besides dedicating a whole floor to the latest digital gadgets and technology products, the retail component will feature the latest in smart shopping technologies. As part of the integration of O2O shopping experiences, Funan’s shoppers can look forward to the CBD’s first drive-through click-and-collect and hands-free shopping service, where they can choose to either pick up their purchases at Funan’s concierge when they are done, or have their shopping bags delivered to their homes.
Sporting culture will feature prominently in Funan. Indoor climbing gym operator Climb Central will offer a 50-lane climbing facility, with the highest wall extending from Funan’s Basement 2 to Level 2 at 15 metres high. Sports enthusiasts can also look forward to a game of street basketball that can be played at the atrium with laser projection onto the floor for night matches. In addition, a futsal court will be built on the sixth floor roof next to a food garden. There will also be a world class gym with an adjacent 25-metre swimming pool. And true to its raison d’être of charting new territory, Funan is set to become Singapore’s first commercial building to allow cycling through the building.
In line with Funan’s experiential focus, dining will become an educational and fun process. In support of the “from farm to table” movement, Funan will feature a 4,000 sq ft urban farm, where the public can learn more about the origins of their food and “adopt a plot” to grow their own produce. Coupled with the 12,000 sq ft food garden, Funan will boast the largest area set aside for urban agriculture in the CBD. Food trucks will also be brought into the development to jazz up Funan’s F&B offerings.
Mr Wilson Tan, CEO of CapitaLand Mall Trust Management Limited, said: “The new generation of tech- and socially-savvy consumers yearn to live in a community with modern comforts; work in a collaborative environment that gets them inspired; and unwind in a convenient location where they can shop, play sports and enjoy recreational activities under one roof. We have thus reimagined Funan to offer a new live-work-play paradigm addressing these needs. Our starting point for Funan is a lifestyle hub where consumers can engage in their passions, connect with like-minded people and use the space as a platform to inspire and express themselves. We then bring in complementary partners, products and services to offer experiences around each passion cluster, enabled by technology. We also believe that Funan can be a new home for local designers, makers and creatives. This will make Funan a unique retail destination that complements the offerings in Raffles City Singapore and other developments in the Civic & Cultural District.”
A new paradigm for live, work and play
Funan has a total gross floor area (GFA) of 887,000 sq ft. Occupying more than half the GFA at 500,000 sq ft is the six-storey retail component, which comprises four levels above ground and two basement levels. Three towers sit above, including two six-storey premium Grade A office towers from Level 5 to Level 10 with a GFA of 266,000 sq ft. The two office towers will have different identities – smart offices in the Northern Tower and innovative studios in Southern Tower – to cater to the needs of a variety of businesses. Completing the integrated development is a nine-storey block housing 279 co-living apartment units from Level 4 to Level 12 with a GFA of 121,000 sq ft. A mobile-first digital platform that is linked to a smart car parking and smart access system, with video analytics and product curation will be incorporated as part of the building’s technology to improve productivity, energy efficiency and security.
In support of the country’s move towards a car-lite society and to promote healthy living, Funan will offer full amenities and end-of-trip facilities for cycling enthusiasts, including bike shops, bike cafés, lockers and shower facilities. This explains Funan’s porous streetscape on its ground floor featuring multiple access points and gentle slopes, which will make it easy for cyclists and pedestrians alike to enter the building.
Once inside Funan, the public will be welcomed by a majestic design centrepiece called “The Tree of Life”. Extending from Basement 2 to Level 4, the wooden and steel structure houses a variety of open spaces and studios that promote new forms of retail, experimentation and social learning. These include design ateliers for local designers and makers to produce and promote their craft and open studios which the public can book to conduct classes. In line with the open concept, the retail component will feature an industrial chic design aesthetic such as exposed steel structures and mesh balustrades that will be enlivened by an abundance of lush greenery. The overall effect is an urban edge with a nature feel.
The design consultant for Funan is Australia-headquartered international architectural firm Woods Bagot, with RSP Architects Planners & Engineers serving as the project architect and consultant. Grant Associates, best known in Singapore for its work on Gardens by the Bay, is Funan’s landscape architect.
A creative intersection
At today’s event, Funan also unveiled its logo and tagline. Drawing inspiration from the development’s strategic location at the crossroad of heritage, business, politics and culture in the Civic & Cultural District, Funan aspires to be at the forefront where creativity (representing ideas), code (representing technology) and craft (representing design) converge and open up new possibilities for consumers. This vision is reflected in the logo, which uses a flexible graphic system featuring patterns that represent different passion clusters, and its tagline “A creative intersection”.