The commission to expand and renovate the Natick Mall in Massachusetts, one of the first enclosed shopping centers built east of the Mississippi River, presented Beyer Blinder Belle with the opportunity to reinvigorate this building type with a new energy. The architects’ approach to remaking this drab suburban mall was to introduce a high standard of design typically found in upscale urban shopping environments. The architects covered the existing mall with a luminous undulating clerestory that runs the length of the building and introduced fine art and high end finishes like wood floors and porcelain tiles throughout. This upscale upgrade together with the developer’s decision to bring in tony retailers like Louis Vuitton, Tiffany’s and Neiman Marcus is intended to draw shoppers who typically shop in major metropolitan areas to the suburbs. In addition to the 500,000 square foot renovation and expansion of the mall, the redevelopment of the 60- acre site calls for a luxury residential condominium building, an outdoor lifestyle center, parking area and a future luxury hotel. The project opened to the public in September ‘07.


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