Autonomous ‘artificial’ islets

«The massive installations of malls, retail parks and the multi-culti-plexes of the past 15 years are the new town-planning factor in the cities we live in,» said architect and historian Michalis Lefantzis. «They are the answer to the uncontrolled mobility in our modern urban centers, where spasmodic and continually redefined urbanization in unexploited or depressed areas is virtually destroying the cohesion of the urban fabric. «These massive installations define a new post-urban landscape, a self-sufficient ‘artificial’ islet in a sea of uncontrolled and built-up urban space that has no meaning. In that sense, these malls can be seen as post-urban landmarks. Other factors «As an autonomous area, it is hard to provide a mall or themed retail park with a clear and successful architectural shape. In the design of such a space, architecture is only one of the factors in a broader and expensive business venture. Defining the commercial layout of a mall involves the art of retailing, which coexists with architecture and decorating, as well as advertising, graphic arts and product promotion.»

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