Regional retail center and theater

130,000 sq. ft. (12,750 m2)

This project provides an entirely new a freestanding structural facade for the complete frontage of the center. This was a daring approach because it involved the construction of several hundred feet of new structure, approximately thirty feet high in front of the existing much lower buildings, while keeping the center in operation.

Many of the retail centers built in the 60s and 70s are coming to the end of their life expectancy. While they may still be providing an important focus for their communities and be financially vigorous, the buildings themselves are often in need of major reworking to meet the new needs of retail centers.

The goal was to create a sense of destination and drama for the entire center, which is a mixture of restaurants and clothing retailers, focused around a cinema, music store and bookshop. The project is more than 600 feet long and is animated with a variety of different forms and buildings that create an urban street. The main tenants are expressed with different facades, providing them with individual landmark recognition.  The solution was to use a grid of cantilevered steel columns that allowed the new building facades to be structurally freestanding from the existing, to avoid adding additional seismic loads. This grid could then be used as a canvas on which the new façade elements could be hung, while access to the stores was maintained through temporary protective tunnels.

A translucent glass wall makes up the entire façade of the main building, which is illuminated using a pioneering LED technology. The light colors can be programmed into an almost infinite number of moving and kinetic displays, which can be changed from anywhere on the world via the internet and web cams. The displays are changed at intervals and to mark holidays. Artists have been invited to create shows. The glass wall is in effect a large chromatic projection screen and the ability to change the appearance of the building allows it to constantly create new interest. This dramatic piece creates the excitement appropriate for entrance to a cinema and restaurant destination.


  • International Design and Development Award (ICSC), USA


  • The Sacramento Bee, USA
  • Space: Shopping Mall, China
Sacramento, California