VivoCity in Singapore
VivoCity (Chinese: 怡丰城) is the largest shopping mall in Singapore. Located in the HarbourFront precinct, it was designed by the Japanese architect Toyo Ito. Its name is derived from the word '. According to Mapletree Chairman Edmund Cheng, VivoCity "evokes a lifestyle experience that is modern, stimulating and accessible to everyone, a place bubbling with energy and flowing with vitality".
VivoCity was built on the site of the exhibition halls of the former World Trade Centre, now the HarbourFront Centre. VivoCity has 1500000 sqft of gross floor area and 1040000 sqft of retail space, larger than Suntec City and Ngee Ann City, the former of which was the largest prior to VivoCity's opening. It was designed by the renowned Japanese architect Toyo Ito. Mapletree Investments, a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, is the developer of the S$417 million complex.
The shopping mall opened officially on December 1, 2006 after a topping-out ceremony on April 18 and a soft launch on October 7 of the same year. The official opening included a six minute fireworks display, a concert by American band String Theory for the general public, and a Stefanie Sun concert at the mall's amphitheatre at the Sky Park on the third floor. The guest of honour of the event was chairman of Temasek Holdings and former cabinet minister S Dhanabalan. During its first month of opening, it attracted 4.2 million visitors, equivalent to the population of Singapore, and attracted 7.28 million visitors in total before the grand opening. The String Theory concert included a giant harp with strings stretching to the third floor of the mall. The concert was held at The Promenade and lasted ten days, from 1 to 10 December. Barricades were put at the boardwalk blocking the front portion of the boardwalk which is facing the Keppel Harbour. CISCO auxiliary police were deployed for the opening, with the food court on the third floor and the whole Sky Park (roof garden) closed to the public for the day. Parts of the car park were closed for the invited guests as well. A giant projection screen was put at the main entrance of the mall, this screen was to show the concert of Stefanie Sun.
VivoCity served as the official venue for the live televised countdown to the new year, instead of Sentosa as per previous years.
The 2007 countdown concert, held from 31 December 2006 to 1 January 2007, was held at the rooftop amphitheatre and included performances by various well-known homegrown artistes from MediaCorp Channel 5 and 8, as well as the Top 11 finalists of the 2nd season for Singapore Idol.
The 2008 countdown concert, held from 31 December 2007 to 1 January 2008 is a same with Taufik Batisah, Daren Tan Sze Wei and Deal Or No Deal babes in addition of artistes from Channel 5 and 8. Prior to the actual countdown party, fans were treated to a 50-minute showcase for the solo and group winners of the talent competition "Live The Dream", as well as performances by the other finalists of that competition.
The 2009 countdown concert, from 31 December 2008 to 1 January 2009 is also held as well, but this time it was for the artistes from Channel 8 and U instead of those from Channel 5. It is for this reason that the Channel 5 countdown had to be held at another location, namely the Marina Bay Float. It also held the 2010 countdown from 31 December 2009 to 1 January 2010.
VivoCity's iconic architecture sets it apart from the traditional box format of many existing (and upcoming) retail developments in the region as it includes event spaces, al fresco dining by the 300 m long Promenade and a large roof top Amphitheatre. The Sky Park of the shopping mall is a popular place for all walks of life since its opening. The Play Court and the open spaces in the mall are also popular places with families and children alike in the mall. The Promenade and the entrance area with the water features around the mall a popular place for children to play in. The wading pool on the third floor is where many children play at besides the Play Court downstairs. The Sky Park also has an Amphitheatre and was where the grand opening was held. It is also a place popular to view Sentosa. Some hold picnics in the mall's outdoor space as well. VivoCity's design allows it to accommodate over 300 different tenants, including many new-to-market brands and retail concepts.
The mall has Singapore's largest cinema multiplex with 15 screens and 2,293 seats by the cinematic company Golden Village, along with one of the largest cinema screens in Asia. Companies such as Toys "R" Us and Dairy Farm have their flagship outlets in VivoCity. Dairy Farm, which owns Cold Storage, Shop N Save, Giant Hypermarket, 7-Eleven and Guardian Health & Beauty takes up 3,700 square metres (1 acre) of space on Basement 2 and about 7,400 square metres on Level 1. The new hypermart, called VivoMart, is connected by its own travelator and sells gourmet food from all over the world, including the United States, Germany, Japan and Australia. The hypermarket, GIANT is located on both basement two and level one while both Cold Storage and Guardian pharmacy are located on level one.
There are two giant food courts — a 2,200 square metre Kopitiam Group facility in Basement 2 and another spread over 2,500 square metres run by the BreadTalk Group, which is a Food Republic food court in similar concept at its sister food court at Wisma Atria.
As one of the venues of the inaugural Singapore Biennale in 2006, several commissioned art pieces from established designers around the world were also unveiled in VivoCity. It is the only venue of the Singapore Biennale where the exhibits are permanent. An international student design contest was recently held to find a design for incorporation into the architecture of VivoCity; it received 365 submissions from various countries.
Other features include a True Fitness gym, spas, restaurants and dance clubs. A Tangs store is located in the building on the first and second floor, which it is the only branch other than its flagship Orchard Road store. The store will sell a number of merchandise that cannot be found at its Orchard Road store, and the management has said the aisles are wider. The first Gap store in Southeast Asia opened at the mall and a number of new faces to the Singapore retail market will set up shops at the mall.
The mall has a car park with a total of 2,179 lots and a loading and unloading bay. The car parks are located in basements 1 and 2 as well as from levels 2 to 7. Also, there is a coach and tour buses bay in the mall.
The terminal of the Sentosa Express monorail is located on level 3 (next to the Food Republic food court) and is known as Sentosa Station. It was officially opened on January 15, 2007.
- Resort World Sentosa 8 or RWS8 bus stop is at the front of VivoCity. The bus service operates between VivoCity to the Resort World Sentosa.
- Linkway at basement 2 that connects to HarbourFront MRT Station and the Seah Im Hawker Centre across Telok Blangah Road.
- Two air-conditioned bridges on level 2 (lined with shops) connecting to HarbourFront Centre.
- An outdoor pedestrian bridge on level 2 (near the Golden Village Cinema) linking to St James Power Station
- The Sentosa Express terminal station on level 3 connecting to Sentosa Island.
The mall has seen several problems since its opening in October, such as lack of signs and directions. The mall provides brochures with layout maps at their information counters. The mall has engaged an Australian agency Woodhead to improve the signs at the mall. The new signs will be named on the anchor tenants instead of generic names to serve as internal landmarks within the mall. New signs have been added to the corridors leading to elevator lobbies. All existing signs will be replaced with new ones. The toilets were wet and a toilet bowl had a seat and cover missing from a ladies toilet. Sanitary bins were also overflowing, but the floors, sinks and cubicles were in acceptable condition. The management has since started on improvement works to the toilets and the nursing room to cater to the heavy usage due to the number of shoppers. The works are being done in phases and have been completed since March 2007. Some have raised issues of the water hygiene at its water features. The management cordoned off part of the pool for maintenance work for a period of time which has since been completed. The wading pool is filtered and chlorinated on a regular basis.
Visit the website of VivoCity www.vivocity.com.sg for the updated tenant listing. </br>
On August 24, 2006, a 15-meter (50 ft) tall section of construction scaffolding outside the mall collapsed, injuring three workers.
Candy Empire controversy
A notice posted in the Candy Empire shop in the basement initially banned trolleys and wheelchairs from entering. After an outcry in Singaporean newspapers and threats of boycotting, the store backed down and now allows entry to all.
Drain Pipe Leakage
On November 15, 2009, a blocked drain pipe caused water to overflow at the entrance of two basement food courts. Tenants said that it wasn't the first time that this had occurred.
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