F+A Architects

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F+A Architects is an architectural firm with its main office in Pasadena, California. The firm was formed in 1973, and its work lay primarily in the planning and design of retail stores and shopping malls.[1] Many of the structures the firm has designed are in North America, but it has also worked on large international projects, most notably in Dubai UAE, Qatar, and Jordan.[1]

North American projects[edit]

Several of the firm's projects are noted for a simulated Italian village architectural style, a practice that began with the firm's 1998 design of The Commons complex in Calabasas, California.[2] The firm would continue using a neo-Italianate motif in its 2005 design of the Simi Valley Town Center regional mall in Simi Valley, California, which is designed to look like an Italian hillside village.[3] To give the Simi Valley Town Center a more European appearance, the mall was designed with architectural elements such as trellised and covered walkways, gardens, courtyards, arches, and copper domes.[4]

The incorporation of such traditional elements typifies F+A's overall historicist design style. For example, in the 2003 design of the Pike at Rainbow Harbor in Long Beach, California, the firm used numerous shapes, angles, colors, and textures to create a venue that looked like it had always been part of an historical waterfront area.[5] Each building in the complex has a unique footprint, to avoid the uniform "big box store" appearance that is commonplace to many modern shopping malls.[5]

The firm has also designed several malls around the upscale "lifestyle center" design concept, which combines retail shopping with other leisure amenities. For example, The Village at Park Royal Shopping Centre in West Vancouver is considered to be Canada's first lifestyle center.[6]

Middle Eastern projects[edit]

The firm's most famous design project to date is the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai, which is considered the world's first "shopping resort".[7] F+A's design of that mall incorporates both European and Arabic design elements.[7] The firm is currently doing more design work in Dubai, including a motorcycle racetrack, a watersports facility, and a large go-kart racing facility at the Dubailand complex.[1]

Selected work[edit]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • Award of Excellence: Commercial/Retail Development, Urban Development Institute-Pacific Region, in 2005.[10]


  1. ^ a b c Retail & Leisure Design International, Design Profile: F&A Architects, retrieved 2008-10-25 
  2. ^ a b icsc.org, 2000 International Design and Development Awards, retrieved 2008-04-30 
  3. ^ Griggs, Gregory (2005-10-27), "Shoppers Get Preview of Simi Valley’s New Mall", Los Angeles Times: B3, retrieved 2008-10-28 
  4. ^ Aragon, Greg (January 2006), "Worth the Wait: Simi Valley Gets $300-Million Mall", California Construction (Mcgraw-Hill Construction): Feature, retrieved 2008-10-28 
  5. ^ a b Aragon, Greg (August 2003), "Bringing Back the Pike", California Construction (Mcgraw-Hill Construction): Feature, retrieved 2008-10-28 
  6. ^ a b icsc.org, International Design & Development Awards Program, 2006 Winners, International Council of Shopping Centers, p. 10, retrieved 2008-10-28 
  7. ^ a b Sway, RoxAnna; Jessie Bove (2007-10-26), Dynamo in the desert: A colossal explosion of new skyscrapers and shopping centers is transforming Dubai into a world-class city, Display & Design Magazine, retrieved 2008-10-26 
  8. ^ Hawthorne, Christopher (2007-06-01), "Make Believe it's Your Living Room", Los Angeles Times: E1, retrieved 2008-10-28 
  9. ^ Madibo, Medilyn (2008-01-05), MAF Shopping Malls receives one of the top awards at ICSC's International Design and Development Awards 2007, AME Info, retrieved 2008-10-28 
  10. ^ Urban Development Institute-Pacific Region, UDI Honours Industry Dignitaries and Award Recipients, 2005, retrieved 2008-10-28 

External links[edit]