Zurich, 4th November 2021 – Kees van Elst, a partner of the ATP subsidiary Mint Architecture, which specializes in experience-oriented architecture, delivered a lecture entitled “Placemaking from the Architectural Perspective” at the 10th Retail Forum Switzerland “From Spaces to Places: Development Opportunities for Retail Real Estate, Shopping Centers, and Downtown Areas”.
According to van Elst, the role of commercially used architecture is to increase satisfaction levels amongst end customers on location – and, as a result, the commercial success and the return generated by the property. To this end, it is vital to observe trends. These form the basis for the design thinking process and the development of concepts. In the retail sector, the analysis of megatrends helps architects to better understand end customers and to anticipate how their needs will look in future.
The placemaking approach then translates this analysis into the development of spatial identities. “The spotlight is on people. In projects, we always focus on the needs – and the experience – of users and consumers. These can include the need for an improved quality of life in the sense of, for example, improved health or more convenience, entertainment, and fun. For our revitalization projects, this trend means that we should expand and enhance – or even convert – classical shopping centers so that they can also meet the needs of other uses in such areas as leisure, gastronomy, co-working, and micro-living, etc.,” explains van Elst.