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20 August 2014

HOK’s Barry Hughes Talks Marina Mall with CNN

Marina Mall 640

CNN investigates “mega malls” and what they mean for the future of urban development. HOK’s Barry Hughes weighs in with experiences from Lusail’s Marina Mall.

“I don’t think a mall can get too big anymore than I think a city can get too big,” Barry Hughes, architect and senior vice president from HOK’s London office, told CNN about the growth of mega malls.Hughes-Barry-Events

“I think what ends up happening is you end up with a shopping mall that operates on a number of visits, it’s sort of like Disneyland. Most people don’t do Disneyland all in one day,” he continued.

Hughes is on the team that is designing Marina Mall, a more than 600,000-sq.-ft. shopping center being built in Lusail, Qatar. Lusail is a new city being built from the ground up by Qatari government funds, according to CNN.

“It’s very much an opportunity to build a vision of the future,” Hughes told CNN.

“Anchoring [Lusail’s] skyline will be four commercial towers, up to 75 stories each. These will be surrounded by five-star hotels, an entertainment district and the Marina Mall, a retail palace measuring more than 600,000 square feet.”

“Scheduled to open in 2017, the mall is a cluster of five interconnected pods, shaped like giant boulders, with cantilevered white roofs to repel the heat. Its architects want the space to evoke desert canyons. A canal runs through it, and waterfalls splash throughout.”

“The scope and design of the mall echoes the grand, futuristic vision for Lusail itself.”

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