It’s a beautiful day in the ‘neighborhood.’ Retail boulevards re-energize and captivate
T GALLERIA | City of Dreams on the Cotai Strip, Macau
UPGRADING AND RE-ENERGIZING THE RETAIL BOULEVARDS that surround the casino and connect the hotels, this retail expansion creates new and innovative retail experiences.
The property consists of four luxury hotels, a world-class casino, entertainment theaters, food and beverage offerings, personal concierge service venues, and 320,000-sq.-ft. of high-end retail shops. The property, originally built in 2008, quickly outgrew its footprint and needed to add substantially more luxury brand retail space for the affluent traveler and gaming enthusiast.
The retail experience is an offering of curated merchandise integrated with relevant concierge and other services. Key to this task was the integration of the brand code into the environment, introducing the newly defined T Galleria into the retail boulevards. The 1,000-meter (3,280 ft.) length of retail boulevards called for “neighborhoods” — breaking the long lengths into focused zones of related merchandise and utilizing principles such as ‘placemaking’ found in urban planning to enhance the customer experience.
The massive scale of the property, both in length and volume, posed challenges to the design firm. “The lengths of the planned boulevards required a way to segment them into a sequence of smaller scaled esplanades so customers could sense a more navigable scale,” says Charles Sparks, president and CEO of Charles Sparks + Co. “Similar to what we do with department stores, we designed a series of bold portals as transitions from boulevard to boulevard.”
While the portals were a consistent design, each esplanade had its own personality via unique neutral piers between shops and common area finishes and details. Because the expanded building floor to floor heights are close to 30 ft. in order to match existing buildings, Sparks decided to design intermediate landings for escalator runs between floors as a way to keep the vertical transportation from being intimidating.
At the nexus of where two major boulevards intersect a multitier grand staircase was designed intending to combine powerful visual display with the attraction of a broadly scaled stair with individually lit risers and splayed escalators to the mezzanine level. The grand staircase is amid an expansive women’s shoe department and just overhead is a Rest & Refresh Mezzanine Bar between the upper-level men’s store. In the foreground — in front of the grand staircase — is an expansive plaza designed to be reminiscent of Europe’s richly patterned town squares, as a place for people gathering, events, promotions, and community activities. This centerpiece is surrounded by many of the ‘best-of-the-best’ fashion authority luxury brands in leather and accessories. Beneath the mezzanine, T Galleria challenged Sparks to develop their first 24,800-sq.-ft. fashion authority women’s shoes presentation with semi-personalized walls and over 1,800 styles on display.