In Delhi, the technological, economic, socio-cultural and post-industrial consumption has transformed the city almost as much as industrial production did .While a huge retail demand still exists for commercial space of yesteryears, there is a huge call for modern serviced facilities, especially in the new sub-urban areas, such as Noida, Gurgaon, Rohini, etc. In the view of the above, morphogenesis architecture studios, entrusted with the design of the first large format shopping mall in northern India.
In the words of architect, “…..It was very important to design it as a family destination point. Enough value addition had to be done for it to offer more than addition had to be done for it to offer more than existing in terms of retail design and entertainment.
While it was functional necessity to design a hermetically sealed box, Morphogenesis also did not wish to establish the typical American Typology, American Malls are almost mini cities. As the 450,000 sq ft hermitically sealed is not designed as short term, pedestrian access space automatically subverts the high street design where retail space overlaps a transition space, it automatically subverts the high streets.
To introduce complexity two strategies are employed, one was creating a system of programmatic overlapping and intersection versus typical clusters resulting out of bubble diagram architecture. Second was designing a mall which was just not the stack of shops fitted in the building, but more like an enclosed Indian street system .It was seen as a space where in a climate of retail strategy, along with methodological creation of ideal, a setting of opportunistic exploitation of fluke accident and transformation must be credited -The hang out space.
It has now been established that the real challenge for the designer lies in handling the two most important ingredients of a marketplace – the shopper and the vehicle. The movement of both can be cannot be separated or mixed before solving the aspect of parking.
With the people came their automobiles. As the area was not designed to handle such a large number of shoppers, the problem of providing space to these vehicles arose. This problem has not been solved till date. Parking is one of the significant factors that deter shoppers from going to main markets and favors suburban shopping places. Another aspect is the level of interaction of people in the market.
Parking space needs to be as close as possible to the pavement on the main approach road otherwise people tend to park elsewhere leaving the parking vacant.. Provision of adequate parking space is another is another important issue otherwise people tend to park haphazardly in any space, thus, making the environment chaotic. E.g. Lajpat Nagar An excellent example of a well designed hierarchy of pedestrian and parking is Shoppers Stop where the shopping complex, pedestrian street & parking form separate zones and the main road is beyond all these thus isolating the shopper from the road traffic.
A very common flaw in design is to be greeted by a sea of cars. Further, in a country like India any amount of parking space will fall short in a period of time so it is very important to improve and encourage public transport to the shopping centres.