Funan, an integrated development located right in the heart of Singapore's Civic & Cultural District, has scored another first with a one-of-a-kind experiential showsuite that brings to life a brand new live-work-play paradigm with cutting edge immersive virtual reality simulation technology.
Funan DigitaLife Mall which was closed in July 2016, is undergoing three years of redevelopment works at an estimated amount of S$560 million. The redevelopment is targeted to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019.
At the launch of Funan showsuite on 27 April, CapitaLand Mall Trust gave updates of Funan’s latest developments, including the announcement of newly signed anchor tenants, as well as how it aims to inspire retail innovation and become the home of local creative talents.
To allow shoppers to get a glimpse of the new Funan, the two-storey experiential showsuite has been constructed at the junction of High Street and Hill Street.
This is also the first retail showsuite in Singapore that is open to the public with lifestyle programmes to engage and grow Funan’s community of fans, whom are affectionately referred to as the GEN F Tribe, more than two years ahead of its target completion in 4Q 2019.
W!ld Rice, Singapore’s leading professional theatre company, will build an intimate 380-seat theatre with an innovative thrust stage design.
Ivan Heng, Founding Artistic Director of W!ld Rice wrote on Facebook, “I am excited to share with you the news that W!LD RICE will be building a new 380-seat theatre at the new FUNAN mall. Located at the heart of Singapore’s civic and cultural district, it is exactly where a theatre needs to be – at the intersection of commerce, art, government and history.”
“This marks a milestone for W!ld Rice, and will make a significant contribution to Singapore’s theatre scene. For the longest time, we have been dreaming of a theatre to call our own, and we are thrilled to have found a partner in Funan, which is reinventing itself as a hub for local creative talents,” Mr Heng also said on the CapitaLand Mall news release.
Carrie K, an award-winning homegrown artisan jewellery label that has achieved international acclaim; and Keepers, a collective of Singapore designers – both founded by local designer Carolyn Kan – will set up a flagship store at Funan.
Former tenants that have helped to define Funan’s IT legacy, namely Newstead Technologies, AddOn Systems and T K Foto, have also confirmed their return with bigger and better offerings.
Newstead will form Funan’s largest IT anchor with multiple concept stores spread across 15,000 sq ft; AddOn will operate Singapore’s Lenovo flagship and service centre; and
T K Foto will have a dedicated test zone for drone videography and photography. Rounding up the list is supermarket chain FairPrice Finest, which will launch a brand new supermarket of the future concept that complements Funan’s digital edge.
Previously announced tenants that have signed with Funan include Golden Village, which will operate a multi-dimensional cinema; Climb Central, which will manage a 50-lane climbing facility; and Kopitiam, which will run a high-tech food court.
Mr Wilson Tan, CEO of CapitaLand Mall Trust Management Limited, said: “More than two years ahead of opening, Funan has received commitment for about 25 percent of its total retail net lettable area of 324,000 square feet, making this one of our most well-received developments to date.”
“What is even more exciting is that each of our partners has committed to push the boundaries in its respective territory and experiment something new at Funan,” said Mr Tan.
Championing local creative talents and innovation
The star attraction of Funan’s experiential showsuite is the immersive virtual reality simulation (IVRS) studio, which features a five-wall projection system (spanning the ceiling, floor, as well as the walls on the viewer’s left, right and front).
The fully immersive environment enables viewers, who don special goggles, to navigate and explore Funan in a full-scale, computer-generated world. They enjoy a high-resolution and stereoscopic threedimensional viewing experience far more superior than the realism offered by conventional two-dimensional images and videos displayed on desktop monitors and projectors.
Funan is one of the first developments in Singapore to adopt the state-of-the-art IVRS technology to market itself to potential business partners.
Located at the junction of High Street and Hill Street, the two-storey showsuite incorporates design elements reflective of Funan’s design centerpiece ‘Tree of Life’, a wood-and-steel structure extending from Basement 2 to Level 4 that houses a variety of open platforms and studios that promote new forms of retail, experimentation and social learning.
Mr Kevin Siew, Vice President, Retail Development, Funan, said: “We envision Funan as Singapore’s creative intersection where passion meets discovery, and the showsuite is its microcosm – an inviting space that serves as a platform for people to express themselves and be inspired. We are immensely proud to be working with some of the best Singapore talents, makers and entrepreneurs – both budding and established – to turn Funan’s showsuite into a living showcase of local creative prowess.”
Funan’s showsuite will be open to the public daily from 11am to 9pm, starting from 30 April 2017, which coincides with this month’s edition of Car-Free Sunday SG in the Civic District.
In conjunction with its opening festivities, visitors can expect a full day of activities at the Funan showsuite that include watercolouring and terrarium workshops, conversations with creative entrepreneurs, and an exclusive InstaMeet helmed by popular Instagrammer Yafiq Yusman, who is known for his unique perspective on architectural photography on the social media site.
The new Funan will also have a nine-storey tower of co-living apartment units, and two six-storey office towers, apart from the six-storey retail space.
Mr Lim Ming Yan, president and Group CEO of CapitaLand, said, “Co-working spaces are also being explored as possible tenants in the new Funan. This is important, not just for us, but for the real estate industry ...”
“We are trying out new concepts from a piece of white paper on what a new shopping centre should look like," Mr Lim said.