Curtain wall glazing and a sophisticated LED lighting system provide an animated display that can be changed for different promotions and festivals.
While the circulation planning was designed by DP Architects, the conceptual plan for the interior design was carried out by Callison Architecture of Seattle. This was then fine-tuned by TID Associates in Singapore. Lionel Ong of TID says DFS wanted the store to provide a Singaporean experience for tourists. To this end, each floor highlights a different aspect of the country's cultural heritage.
"While shoppers can simply wander into the ground floor, tourist groups are introduced to the building through an entrance at the rear," he says.
From here, they are directed up the longest escalator in Singapore to the fourth floor. Visitors get a good overview of the complex while travelling on the escalator, which passes through an atrium flanked by a textural rock wall and timber panels.
The fourth floor, often called the Zen garden floor, continues the tropical feel, with garden landscaping visible through a long, glazed wall. On this floor the product mix is focused on small luxury items such as leather goods, watches and fine jewellery. Timber panelling, sisal carpets and natural quartz floors with timber inserts enhance the natural ambience. A large skylight allows light to penetrate the space by day, while mood lighting provides an intimate atmosphere by night.
Colonial Singapore comes to the fore on the third level, which showcases the name-brand fashion houses. This floor also features a gourmet food outlet, a cafe and an art gallery.
"To establish an air of luxury, the design follows the old colonial interiors, marrying decorative themes from the old black-and-white bungalows as well the historical Raffles Hotel," says Ong.