tittle
 
     
 
 
商业地产研究  
Study of Commercial Property
  商业的变迁 Transfer of the shop
 
 
 
 

TRANSFER TO SHOP

FROM THE ROOTS OF THESHOPPING MALL TO  THE CONTEMPORARYSHOPPING CULTURE OF MIXED-USE BUILDING'S

Transfer is – from my point of view – aprogrammatically mixed used proposal, aimed at dealing with the formalizationof the interchanges nodes between the infrastructures (traffic-freeenvironments, sidewalks, streets, subway stations, …) and the shops (fig.1)(1).

This are, in effect, "cushion nodes" (concentrating andstimulating at the same time) in places of maximum infrastructuralconcentration, which interlink mobility, flow, interchange and information.They are nodes that are designed to take advantage of the possibilities ofintersection produced (explicit and metaphorically) in the context of currentinfrastructural webs that are strategically "re-amortisable"(combining multiple access with low-price density). Places of absorption whichare converted into effective -- hybrid -- substitutes for the city; quasi spontaneouspara-urban mutations developed as condensers and couplings ofprogrammatically-mixed functional grids. Loops at once braids, bonds and links-- capable of synthesizing the mobility, mutability, superposition andmixed-use of the contemporary city traveller.(2)

Shopping is from this point of view after this definition thesubliminal experience of the Transfer. It is the area in front of the store -the intersection of “cushion nodes” in places of maximum infrastructuralconcentration - which interlink the pedestrians passing by to come in thisshop. It is the Transfer in the shop who speaks to the potential consumer"Come in -- come in deeper – inside more objects of desire and pleasurableexperience await you."

It is the challenge of the architect to offer this interchanges“cushion nodes” in a shopping environment. But from where is this  phenomenon coming and how it has evolved?

An American Dream

An architect, who was very formative for the development  of modern way of shop architecture is theAustrian-born architect Victor Gruen (fig. 2).(3,4) Finally, with his conceptfor the partially roofed "Northland Mall" (fig. 3) near Detroit (USA)in 1954 and with his first full roofed shopping mall “Southdale Mall” (fig. 4),south of Minneapolis (USA) in 1956, Gruen is be deemed as the "Father of the Shopping Mall". Forpioneering the soon-to-be enormously popular mall concept in this form, Gruenhas been called in 2004 the "most influential architect of the twentiethcentury" by Malcolm Gladwei in the famous American magazine “NewYorker”.(5)

 

The race riots in the United States in 1943 (fig. 5) cancertainly be understood as a co-triggering factor for the development of theshopping mall. Housing, transportation and education were just three of themajor sources of conflict between the two races. Particularlyaffected by these riots was Detroit(6). Due to the unrest there was anout-migration from the centers to the suburbs(7). Together with J. L. HudsonCompany(8) developed Gruen in the late 1940's and the early 1950's in thesuburbs of Detroit, the "Northland Mall". The idea of Gruen was, thatthis Mall are takeover the function of the city center (fig. 6) which wasabsent in this time in the suburbs(9).

With all of his mall concepts(10) was for Gruen the guidance ofthe potential customers import. This strategy istoday an important part of contemporary shop architecture and is under the name"Gruen Transfer" in the field architectural theory well known(3,4,9).The "Gruen Transfer" is concerned that the potential customers“animated” by an architectural intervention finds his or her way into the shop(fig. 7). (This phenomena of experience can occur both along the public streetor inside a shopping mall.) It is the early form of the “nodes” described aboveby me. Furthermore, the "Gruen Transfer" explains the forces behindwhat leads a customer from department to department within the larger store(fig. 8).

Gruen's pioneering thinking has influence a varied spectrum ofarchitects from those who specialize in retail. At this point I would likemention but only two of these architects by name: Jon Jerde(11) (Figure 9) andRem Koolhaas(12) (Figure 10).

Jon Jerde and his office “The Jerde Partnership” hastaken the concept of the shopping mall and improved it. He has developed a newtype of the Mall: The Mega-Mall(13). The first type of this mall was opened in1992 in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA under the name “Mall of America” (fig. 11).The core of the development was that Jerde's integrated into the mall concepttheme parks(14) (fig. 12). The world of shopping and entertainment was born.

Jerde's work has influence many projects in the field of shoppingand entertainment. So also as "The Place" in Beijing (fig. 13).“Jerde's 'Fremont Street Experience' (fig. 14) in Las Vegas (USA) is the modelof the 'The Place'”, so Jeremy Railton(15), the designer of “The Place”. TheFremont Street is located in downtown Las Vegas (fig. 15), the home of many ofthe city’s oldest gambling facilities. “[Before 1995], however, less growth hasbeen occurring in downtown than along the rest of the Strip, causing thedowntown area to deteriorate. After Jerde has creating the “Fremont StreetExperience” in 1995, there was a rise in the number of tourists to thearea.”(16) The “Fremont Street Experience” is a strong sample for a"cushion nodes". It is concentrating and stimulating the tourists tocome to downtown Las Vegas.(17) This function is follow “The Place” in Beijing.

Rem Kohlhaas and his office OMA, in turn, has designed in 2000for the famous Italian fashion and life style company Prada the master conceptof the “Prada Epicenter”. The core idea of this concept is to provide a newshopping experience for customers by emphasizing space in their stores anddrawing on cultural influences in the decor. Koolhaas approach was that theshopping environment is a "stage": the product is part of a stagedshopping world of experience. The first realized project was designed byhimself: "Prada Epicenter New York" (fig. 16). The concept was forPrada economics very successful. Other famous architects are designed ofKoolhaas's concept other “Prada Epicenter”. As example I will mention hereHerzog de Meuron(18) with “Prada Epicenter Tokio” (2003) (fig. 17).

Marketresearch and the change in consumer demographics in Europe and Americainfluence the Shop architecture.

Alongside this development in the field of architecture there wasalso in the western hemisphere, a change in consumer demographics. The societyhas been in Europe and America more and more based on the political,educational, cultural and economical developing individual. The result was thatfor two decades the social science divided the socio-demographic structure nolonger on education or household income (fig. 18) rather than interest groups,called "Milieu" (fig. 19).

Due to the developments in politics, education and culture the personal valuesof the Chinese population will be more and more individual. The intellectualdevelopment and liberty of the individual is supported by the Western models.Based on this will in China in the next few years a similar socio-demographicstructure developed as in Europe and America. American and European marketresearch institutes have already studies about this process.(19) This is a sure sign that the social behavior ofthe Chinese population changed.

An example of how thefindings from developments above are used correctly.

With the concept of "Eat and Buy", I developed a newstore prototype for one of the world leader in exclusive household and kitchenproducts WMF, originated from Germany (fig. 20). I designed the concept for theshop to accommodate the evolving economic demographics I mentioned above whichcan apply and be fit to similar phenomena in newly modern developing Nations.

At selected locations in Europe (such as figure in the WMF Flagship Store inStuttgart) is a store concept realized, whereby the customer can not only buyWMF products. In the shop is a Restaurant (fig. 21) integrated. So, in thisrestaurant you can also eat with products from WMF. The concept is complementedby a Coffee Bar (fig. 22) and a Show Kitchen (fig. 23). The experience factorby shopping was further developed by this new store prototype. Because of thearchitecture the product propelled further as the "touch point" ofthe shopping experience.

Apart from the basic analysis of the necessary space program forthe sales areas, a special topography of the area (fig. 24) for the use of therestaurant and coffee bar was developed. The aim was to create a "both-andalso" situation in the spatial program. Restaurant, Coffee Bar and ShowKitchen should not interfere themselves and with the sale, and vice versa. Thetransitions between the various functional areas are distinct and fluid.Thresholds (limits) are accentuated by different materials (fig. 25). Wereferred to the “Sinus-Milieu-Study”(20) whenselecting of materials and color (fig. 26). With the help of thesesocial-psychological study are for the target group (fig. 27) of WMF the appropriatedesign language, material and color selection was made.

A special attention was paid in the design of Transfer zones inbetween the common areas and the store interior we paid aspecial attention to leading potential customers in. This areas are leading anddirection the potential customers. The prominent entrance structure (fig. 28)flanked by inviting shop-windows (fig. 29) provide clear direction for the possible customer into the sales area.The interior stairs I designed using a pure and functional aesthetic so assimply lead customers to the floors above (fig. 30).

Fixtures for product presentation, display casework (fig. 31),presentation walls (fig. 32) and tables (fig. 33) reinforce the intent of WMF'sunique program and sales strategy. The productpresentation tables will have a special meaning within the showroom: they arethe link between the matter-of-fact (product presentation) and the emotional area(restaurant) (fig. 34). Through this procedurewas developed for the target group of WMF a homogeneous shop concept that doesnot distract from the core of the project: the food. And it strictly followsthe company's slogan, "Life Tastes Great. WMF" (fig. 35).

In summary, is to say that the success of this concept has threereasons:

- First,was paid in the design of the master concept highest attention to themechanisms        of Transfer.

-  Secondly,is by the integration of the restaurant in the point of sale a new type ofattractor     for the consumer created.

-  Andthirdly, in the interior design it was of the highest importance to design aclear and simple product presentationswhich do not compete with the emotional restaurant area.

Not a phenomenon – it is the actualdeveloping of shopping architecture

Recent developments show that this concept is not a phenomenon. In addition tothe brand experience projects of the German automotive industry such as the BMWWorld (fig. 36) in Munich or the Autostadt in Wolfsburg (fig. 37) markexperience-concepts by smaller projects a clear way:

Thus the French company L'Oreal developed for its skin care brand"Armani Spa" (fig. 38) a shop concept in which the products areoffered in the context of a spa. Massage and spa are the attractors, the factorof relaxation and regeneration reflects the experience of the world"Armani Spa" resist. It is a highly exclusive urban concept locatedin the Ginza Tower, Tokyo (Japan). At the heart of the concept is “TheCeremony” an “East meets West” treatment journey that led the layout of thetreatment suites (fig. 39). In the whole sales area is no presentation wall, nodisplay case exist – there is nothing what reminds on a shop (fig. 40). Theskin care product is "just" bought after a massage or sauna. Or orderit in the online shop of Armani. The massage and other services have to bepaid, of course. The master concept is developing from the German-Koreanarchitects Kim and Heep, located in Vienna, Austria. Based on economicalsuccessful launch of the first shop in Tokio, Japan, in 2008, L'Oreal has openone spa-shop in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2010 and Milano, Italy, in2011.

The Switzerland architects Annette Spillmann and Harald Echsle used the “GruenTransfer” for the Swiss company Freitag (fig. 41) perfectly. Freitag is producingbags with recycled tarps. The architects designed a flagship store on the areaof the main railway station in Zurich. Completely built from rusty, recycled 19freight-containers is the building itself the Transfer. Lovingly the containerswere gutted, reinforced, piled up and secured to an urban “cushion nodes”.Zurich’s first bonsai-skyscraper: Low enough (26 meters) not to violate thecity’s restriction on high-rise buildings, high enough that people see it. Onfour sales floors the customer can buy individual recycled freeway-bags (fig.42). So, the surrounding of the product – trucks, shipment, … – is staging inthis shop. The customer can feel the world of Freitag.

What is it, what thestrategy of Transfer makes so important for the modern shop architecture?

The townscape of the historic centers of Europe is increasinglydominated by luxury brands. Until about 20 years ago it was the historic citycenters, which have drawn the visitor into their ban.Through the uniform global corporate architecture of the luxury brands,European cities lose their unique appearance. The German urban planner KerstinHoeger(21) and the Dutch city planner Kees Christiaanse(22) have summarizedthis phenomenon under the names Brandscape(23) (fig. 43).

By many, but at the same time monotonous informationsof this luxury brand stores within this Brandscapes it is for companies inEurope increasingly important that the architecture of shop is communicatepurposeful with passers-by (fig. 44). Here is the strategy of Transfer, such asthe above examples shows, the suitable mechanism for a unique shoppingexperience. It is important that the design elements at the "CushionNodes” used purposefully. Similarly, the staging in the shop have to fit withthe brand and product.

This development in Europa will even not stop forAsia. Even though it compared to Europe in China are less pictorial historicold towns so will this phenomenon not stop in front of the mixed-use. (From myperspective, the mixed-use building in China take over, the functions of a oldEuropean town center: People go there to work, shop and entertain themselves.)Therefore, it is especially for mixed-use projects increasingly important toconsider the mechanisms of Transfer.

Finally I would like to show here an example for asuccessful mixed-use project, the “Stadion Center” (fig. 45) in Vienna,Austria. In developing the project I was partly responsible for the masterplan. The building is connected directly to the public transportation (subway,bus) and two main roads. By choosing this location is an important feature ofthe "Cushion Nodes" was fulfilled. In spite of the optimal location,it was the aim of designing more "Cushion Nodes” to create. With thedesign of a media facade (fig. 46) was outdoors an attractor created which thepasser-by invites to entrance in the mixed-use building.

The entrance area was created as another"Cushion Nodes" an "Ice Tower" (fig. 47). In the "IceTower" are the lifts integrated. This "Ice Tower" can beilluminated in different lighting moods. The lighting effects (fig. 48a and48b) lead to potential consumers then further into the inside of thebuilding. Through the targeted placement of the light installation was alsocounteracted about the visual presence by the logos of the shops. So it wasguaranteed that the "Stadion Center" is the magnet itself. The luxurybrands are present but only as part of the object. The brands are the stars,the Mixed-Used Building “Stadion Center” itself is the superstar.

Driven by the financial crisis in America and Europe, boosted bythe economic success of China, Western luxury brands looking for new markets inChina. But with the experience and the discussions around the Brandscape inEurope, the manager of Western luxury brands are clairaudient. Infrastructure(location, public traffic, ...) and staging ("CushionNodes”) must matched on the needs of the users from a mixed-use.

For what should not going to happen, that the consumer is wearywith the monotonous designs of the Brandscape. In Europe this is already thecase: artists already takes on this developing a critical attitude. In Vienna,the artists duo Christoph Steinbrener and Rainer Dempf have created an artevent at which they are packed in a popular shopping street in all companysigns and logos (fig. 49). Let it not come in China so far!

---

*Fritz Strau? is an Austrian-born architect, urban planner,interior designer, designer, architectural and design theorist, universityteacher and artist. He has designed building's for companies like BMW, Festo orKia. As urban planner he was responsibilities for urban plans in famousEuropean cities like Vienna, Salzburg or Sarajevo. In the field of interiordesign, he has developed for several international companies (e.g. WMF, Rolf Benz,Humanic) master concepts for their shops. Products that were designed by himare available i.a. in the world-famous companies such as Junghans, Flos orMoroso. The main focus of his architectural and design theoretical work is thedevelopment of shopping in Architecture and Design in the 19th and20th century in Europe and America. As university teacher he hastaught on different universities in Europe and America. With his artistic work he was invited to exhibitions from renownedmuseums such as the Museum of Applied Arts and Künstlerhaus – both in Vienna,Austria – or the Architectural Biennale in Venice, Italy. Many of his works areawarded with important awards like the “Red Dot Award”, “Best Shop of the Year”or  "Vienna Urban RenewalAward". Over that he was invited by many universities and publicinstitutions for lectures about his work and his ideas about architecture,urban planning and design.

He is living in Beijing, China and is working for Uni-createArchitects as Design Consultant.

NOTES:

(1) Editor's note: The diagram (combined flow chart of passers andpassers-shopping-behavior diagram) was included in the analysis for the WMFConcept Store "Eat and Buy" which I have designed from 2003 till2007. It was created from the data that the German market research institutehas "Sinus" in 2004, prepared for the site analysis of WMF shops. Onthis shop concept I will subsequently entered more concrete in this essay.

(2) Editor's note: With thisconsideration, I am referring to the following works of German sociologistGerhard Schulze (1944) and the American sociologist Richard Sennett (1943):

Gerhard Schulze:

- Krisen, FischerVerlag,  2011

- Die Sünde, HanserVerlag, 2003

- Die beste aller Welten,Hanser Verlag, 2003

- Kulissen des Glücks,Campus Verlag, 1998

- Die Erlebnisgesellschaft,Campus Verlag, 1992 und 2005
Richard Sennett :
- Authority, Norton and Company, 1980

- The Conscience of theEye, Norton and Company, 1990

- Flesh and Stone,Norton and Company, 1992
- The Culture of the New Capitalism,Yale University Press, 2006
For more information about Gerhard Schulze and Richard Sennett see:

- Richard Sennett: www.richardsennett.com (2011, December 22,14:00)
- Gerhard Schulze: www.gerhardschulze.de (2011, December 22, 14:00)
(3) Crawford M., (1992), The World in a Shopping Mall, in SorkinM., (ed.), Variations on a Theme Park:the new American City and the end of Public Space, Hill & Wang, NewYork, (1992)

(4) Hardwick M.J., Mall Maker: Victor Gruen, Architect of an American Dream,University of Pennsylvania, 2003
(5) Gladwell, M., The Terrazzo Jungle, The New Yorker,March 15, 2004
(6) Editor's note. For moreinformation about the race roits in Detroid and America see: Sitkoff, H., The Detroit Race Riot 1943, Michigan History, May 1969, Vol. 53Issue 3, pp 183–206, reprinted in Hollitz J., ed. Thinking Through The Past: Volume Two: since 1865, Chapter 8,Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005

(7) Editor's note. For more information see: SugrueT.J., The Orgins of the Urban Crisis,Princeton University Press, 1996
(8) Editor's note. J. L.Hudson Company a major upscale Detroit based department store chain in Detroit,USA. For more information see: Hardwick M.J., Mall Maker: Victor Gruen, Architect of an American Dream,University of Pennsylvania, 2003
(9) Wall A., Victor Gruen: From Urban Shop to New City, Actar, 2006
(10) Victor Gruen has built aimmense number of shopping malls among others as example the following:

- Cherry Hill Mall, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA, 1961
- Midtown Plaza, Rochester, New York, USA, 1962
- Randhurst Mall, Mount Prospect, Illinois, USA, 1962
- Fulton Mall, Fresno, California, USA, 1964
- Fox Plaza, San Francisco, California, USA, 1966
- South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, California, USA, 1967
- Gateway Center, Newark, USA, New Jersey,1971
- Twelve Oaks Mall, Novi, Michigan, USA, 1977
- Port Plaza Mall, Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA, 1977
(11) Jon Jerde (born 1940) is anAmerican architect and the founder and chairman of "The JerdePartnership". The Jerde Partnership has created such kind of successfulprojects like the "Mall of America" (Bloomington, Minnesota/USA in1992), the urban entertainment center "Universal CityWalk" (LosAngeles, California/USA in 1993) or the "Fremont Street Experience"(Las Vegas, Nevada/USA in 1995).
(12) Rem Koolhaas (born 1944) is aDutch architect and the founding partner of OMA. With the design of the CCTVHeadquarters in Beijing (2004-2009) he has built a landmark in the skyline ofChina capital Beijing. Koolhaas is also working as architectural theorist.Important publications are "Delirious New York", "S,M,L,XL"or "Project on the City". He is honored in 2000 with the"Pritzker Prize".

(13) Koolhaas R. et al. (Ed.), The Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping/ Harvard Design School Project on the City 2, Taschen, 2002
(14) Editor's note. For moreinformation see: www.mallofamerica.com 2011, December, 27, 15:00)

(15) “The Place" designed from 2003to 2007 by Jeremy Railton in cooperation with Kritzinger+Rao Architects;Client: Aozhong Development Company; see:http://livedesignonline.com/architainment/great_screen_china (2011, December14, 14:00)
(16) McCracken, R.D. Las Vegas: TheGreat American Playground, University of Nevada Press, 1997.
(17) Editor's note: For moreinformation about Las Vegas and architecture see: Venturi R. et al., Learning from Las Vegas: The ForgottenSymbolism of Architectural Form, MIT Press, 1977
(18) Herzog & de MeuronArchitects (HdM) is a Swiss architecture firm. HdM's early works werereductivist pieces of modernity that registered on the same level as theminimalist art of Donald Judd. However, their recent work at Barcelona ForumBuilding and the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games, suggest achanging attitude. In 2001, HdM were awarded the Pritzker Prize, the highest ofhonours in architecture.
(19) See as sample: http://www.sinus-institut.de/en/products/sinus-milieus.html (2011, December 23, 13:30)

(20) Sinus-Milieus has been concernedwith the everyday lives of people, socio-cultural change, the condition ofsociety, and the application of Sinus research in connection with trends,target groups, and brands.

Being an expert in psychological and socio-scientific researchand consulting, Sinus develops strategies for companies and organizations inthe field of consumption, ecology, culture, and politics with particular focuson:

- Value change

- Everyday-life worlds (Sinus-Milieus®)

- Everyday-life esthetics

- Socio-cultural currents, trends, and futures scenarios

Many companies and non-profit organizations work with theresearch and consulting tools of Sinus – e.g. with the Sinus-Milieus – becausethese tools help understand socio-cultural change, the structure of society,and the psychology of citizens and consumers.

(21) Kerstin H?ger studiedarchitecture at the TU Berlin, the MIT and the Harvard Graduate School ofDesign. Since 1999 she works with her own architectural and urban design officeon complex, large scale projects such as urban renewal, mixed-use and corporatedevelopments, science quarters, branding and urban development plans. Inaddition to her practice, she works since more than 10 years in the academicrealm: from 1999-2009 as instructor, researcher and lecturer at the ETH Zurichand since 2009 as full professor for architecture and urban design at theNorwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim.
(22) Kees Christiaanse studiedarchitecture and urban planning at the TU Delft. From 1980 until 1989 he workedfor the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in Rotterdam, becoming apartner in 1983. In 1989 Kees Christiaanse founded his own office ir. KeesChristiaanse Architects & Planners in Rotterdam, KCAP since 2002. From 1996until 2003 he taught architecture and urban planning at TU Berlin, Germany.Since 2003 he is professor at the ETH in Zurich, Switzerland.

(23) Editor's note: Formore information about Brandscapes see:

-  KlingmannA., Brandscape in the Experience Economy,MIT Press, 2007

-  ChristiaanseK., H?ger K. (eds.), Campus and the City.Urban Design for the Knowledge gta publishers, 2007
-  H?ger K., Brandhubs: EuropeanStrategies of Corporate Urbanism, in proc.4th ISUU –  International Seminar on Urbanismand Urbanization: The European Tradition in     Urbanism– and its Future, TU Delf, 2007
-  H?ger K., Brandhubs: Catalysts for Responsive Urban Design, in ChristiaanseK. (ed.):    Entwurf und Strategie im urbanen Raum - Die Programmlose Stadt, , ETH Zurich    Instituteof Urban Design, 2004, 125-145
-  Christiaanse K., Rotterdam,Uitgeverij 010, 1999

 

 
 
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