Sonae Sierra | Bluehouse Capital
Commercial Interiors Awards 2019|Best Interior – Food Retail | Bronze
Upon being entrusted with the Food Court Refurbishment Project, we were confronted with the significant change of function and character in the totality of the Fashion City Outlet, which will now operate as an open-air Shopping Center. For us, this signifies not a disadvantage, but on the contrary, a welcomed advantage, due to the kind of special relation with outdoor spaces that is encountered in all Mediterranean countries. It is highly appreciated to have a succession of various types of open and enclosed areas and a seamless transition in between them. So, our proposal for the renovation of the FCO Food Court is based on the idea of an open-air and also urban space. We incorporate many elements already present in the rest of the shopping center, and further accentuate the feeling of openness and liveliness with extensive use of greenery and materials that give an overall informal/industrial look and feel.
We imagined this space as a sort of a city plaza and park fusion, with its urban element highly visible and delimited. We take advantage of the broken layout that already exists and replace the flooring to specify the “streets” that transverse this Plaza and rearrange all furniture aligned on a regular grid/matrix, although in a variety of different styles, to mirror a real life City Square. Our aim was to keep also maximum visibility and accessibility form all side of the Food Court while at the same time breaking the monotony of repeating seating.
More specifically, apart from the open air table arrangements, we used elements such as “kiosks” to offer protection from all weather conditions, umbrellas and tents to provide additional shade and a circular elevated lounge area with extrovert sitting which now functions as a landmark, or else the heart of the Plaza. Vegetation is used extensively to either mark the “entrances” and create “alleys” or provide privacy where needed.
This results in a new, varied conception of the space, that now forms various “neighborhoods” and a variety of private/public seating arrangements. The outcome mirrors our intention to give a new perception to the visitor, that of a high quality, lively, interesting space, which offers a constant interplay of outdoor and in between spaces, of urban and natural elements and highlights the Atrium aspect of the space.
The overall objective is for a more youthful and industrial look and feel, with pops of color and vintage references.