Main facade of VivoCity
|Opening date||7 October 2006 (operational)
1 December 2006 (official)
|Developer||Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd|
|Management||Mapletree Commercial Property Management Pte Ltd|
|Owner||DBS Trustee Limited as Trustee of Mapletree Commercial Trust|
|No. of stores and services||340|
|No. of anchor tenants||3 (Golden Village, VivoMart, Tangs Department Store)|
|Total retail floor area||1,500,000 square feet (140,000 m2)|
|No. of floors||5|
|Public transit access||HarbourFront MRT Station
VivoCity (Chinese: 怡丰城) is the largest shopping mall in Singapore. Located in the HarbourFront precinct, it was designed by the Japanese architect Toyo Ito. Its name is derived from the word vivacity. According to Mapletree chairman Edmund Cheng, VivoCity "evokes a lifestyle experience that is modern, stimulating and accessible to everyone, a place bubbling with energy and flowing with vitality".
VivoCity was built on the site of the exhibition halls of the former World Trade Centre, now the HarbourFront Centre, the construction had begun on June 2003. It has 1,500,000 square feet (140,000 m2) of gross floor area and 1,040,000 square feet (97,000 m2) of retail space, larger than Suntec City and Ngee Ann City (the former of which was the largest before VivoCity's opening). It was designed by the renowned Japanese architect Toyo Ito. Mapletree Investments, a subsidiary of Temasek Holdings, is the developer of the S$417 million complex.
The shopping mall opened officially on 1 December 2006 after a topping-out ceremony on 18 April and a soft launch on 7 October of the same year. The official opening included a six-minute fireworks display, a concert by American band String Theory for the general public, and a Stefanie Sun concert at the mall's amphitheatre at the Sky Park on the third floor. The guest of honour of the event was chairman of Temasek Holdings and former cabinet minister S Dhanabalan. During its first month of opening, it attracted 4.2 million visitors, equivalent to the population of Singapore, and attracted 7.28 million visitors in total before the grand opening. The String Theory concert included a giant harp with strings stretching to the third floor of the mall. The concert was held at The Promenade and lasted ten days, from 1 to 10 December. Barricades were put at the boardwalk blocking the front portion of the boardwalk which is facing the Keppel Harbour. CISCO auxiliary police were deployed for the opening, with the food court on the third floor and the whole Sky Park (roof garden) closed to the public for the day. Parts of the car park were closed for the invited guests as well. A giant projection screen was put at the main entrance of the mall; this screen was to show the concert of Stefanie Sun.
VivoCity served as the official venue for the live televised countdown to the new year, instead of Sentosa as in previous years.
The 2007 Countdown, held from 31 December 2006 to 1 January 2007, was held at the rooftop amphitheatre and included performances by well-known homegrown artists from MediaCorp Channel 5 and 8, as well as the Top 11 finalists of the second season of Singapore Idol.
The 2008 Countdown, held from 31 December 2007 to 1 January 2008, which showcased Taufik Batisah, Daren Tan Sze Wei and the Deal Or No Deal girls in addition to artists from Channel 5 and 8. Before the actual countdown party, fans were treated to a 50-minute showcase for the solo and group winners of the Channel 5 talent competition "Live The Dream", as well as performances by the other finalists of that competition.
The 2009 Countdown, from 31 December 2008 to 1 January 2009 was held. This time it was for the artists from Channel 8 and U instead of those from Channel 5. Since then, Channel 5 will hold its Countdown from The Float at Marina Bay.
It also held the following countdowns for the year of 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
VivoCity's iconic architecture sets it apart from the traditional box format of many existing (and upcoming) retail developments in the region as it includes event spaces, al fresco dining by the 300 m long Promenade and a large roof-top amphitheatre. The Sky Park has been a popular place for all walks of life since its opening. The Play Court and the open spaces in the mall are popular with families and children. The Promenade and the entrance area with the water features a popular place for children to play in. The wading pool on the third floor is where many children play at besides the Play Court downstairs. The Sky Park has an Amphitheatre and was where the grand opening was held. It is also a place popular to view Sentosa. Some hold picnics in the mall's outdoor space as well. VivoCity's design allows it to accommodate over 300 tenants, including many new-to-market brands and retail concepts.
The mall has Singapore's largest cinema multiplex with 15 screens and 2,172 seats by the cinematic company Golden Village, along with one of the largest cinema screens in Asia. Companies such as Toys "R" Us and Dairy Farm have their flagship outlets in VivoCity. Dairy Farm, which owns Cold Storage, Shop N Save, Giant Hypermarket, 7-Eleven and Guardian Health & Beauty takes up 3,700 square metres (1 acre) of space on Basement 2 and about 7,400 square metres on Level 1. The new hypermart, called VivoMart, is connected by its own travelator and sells gourmet food from all over the world, including the United States, Germany, Japan and Australia. The hypermarket Giant is on both basement two and level one while Cold Storage and Guardian pharmacy are on level one.
There are two giant food courts – a 2,200 square metre Kopitiam Group facility in Basement 2 and another spread over 2,500 square metres run by the BreadTalk Group, which is a Food Republic food court in similar concept at its sister food court at Wisma Atria.
As one of the venues of the inaugural Singapore Biennale in 2006, several commissioned art pieces from established designers around the world were unveiled in VivoCity. It is the only venue of the Singapore Biennale where the exhibits are permanent. An international student design contest was recently held to find a design for incorporation into the architecture of VivoCity; it received 365 submissions.
Other features include a True Fitness gym, spas, restaurants and dance clubs. A Tangs store is located in the building on the first and second floor, which it is the only branch other than its flagship Orchard Road store. The store will sell merchandise that cannot be found at its Orchard Road store, and the management has said the aisles are wider. The first Gap store in Southeast Asia opened at the mall and a number of new faces to the Singapore retail market will set up shops at the mall.
There is a car park with a total of 2,179 lots and a loading and unloading bay. The car parks are located in basements 1 and 2 as well as from levels 2 to 7. Also, there is a coach and tour buses bay in the mall.
- RWS8 bus stop is at the front of VivoCity. The bus service operates between VivoCity to the Resort World Sentosa.
- Linkway at basement 2 that connects to HarbourFront MRT station, HarbourFront Bus Interchange and the Seah Im Hawker Centre across Telok Blangah Road.
- Two air-conditioned bridges on level 2 (lined with shops) connecting to HarbourFront Centre.
- An outdoor pedestrian bridge on level 2 (near the Golden Village Cinema) linking to St James Power Station
- The Sentosa Express terminal station on level 3 connecting to Sentosa Island.
The mall has seen several problems since its opening in October, such as lack of signs and directions. The mall provides brochures with layout maps at their information counters. The mall has engaged an Australian agency Woodhead to improve the signs. The new signs will be named after the anchor tenants instead of generic words as internal landmarks. New signs have been added to the corridors leading to elevator lobbies. All existing signs will be replaced.
The toilets were wet and a toilet bowl had a seat and cover missing from a ladies toilet. Sanitary bins were also overflowing, but the floors, sinks and cubicles were in acceptable condition. The management has since started on improvements to the toilets and the nursing room to cater to the heavy usage due to the number of shoppers. The works are being done in phases and have been completed since March 2007.
Some have raised issues of the water hygiene at its water features. The management cordoned off part of the pool for maintenance work for a time which has since been completed. The wading pool is filtered and chlorinated on a regular basis.
Candy Empire controversy
A notice posted in the Candy Empire shop in the basement initially banned trolleys and wheelchairs from entering. After an outcry in Singaporean newspapers and threats of boycotting, the store backed down and now allows entry to all.
Drain pipe leakage
On 15 November 2009, a blocked drain pipe caused water to overflow at the entrance of two basement food courts. Tenants said that it was not the first time that this had occurred.
- Farah Abdul Rahim, "Newly opened VivoCity mall attracts nearly a million shoppers," Channel NewsAsia, 15 October 2006
- "Viva VivoCity", The Straits Times, 2 December 2006
- Melissa Sim, "New family hang-out: VivoCity rooftop", The Sunday Times, 17 December 2006
- Wei Chean, Lim (19 April 2006). "Singapore's biggest mall beckons with 7,000 jobs". The Straits Times.
- Bao Ying, Ng (28 March 2006). "New retail space VivoCity to combine art, commerce". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 28 March 2006.
- May Yip, "Has Vivo lost its verve?" The Straits Times, 14 January 2006
- "3 workers hurt in mall accident". The Straits Times. 25 August 2006.
- Candy store's 'no wheelchair' policy upsets shoppers. The Straits Times, 5 November 2006
- "Blocked pipes cause water to spill over at VivoCity food courts". Channel NewsAsia. 15 November 2009.
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