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Business

SM seaside city Cebu: The grandest mall in the Visayas

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Newly opened SM Seaside City Cebu is SM’s third largest mall in the country measuring 430,000 square meters in gross floor area and is one of the Philippines’ most picturesque, showcasing not just architectural excellence but also resilience in design.

Due to its proximity to the Mactan Channel, the mall draws marine inspiration from the “nautilus.” The sea creature’s unique shape and logarithmic pattern guided the building’s architectural shape and design. The nautilus, a spiral shell with pale, pearly chambers, is one of the finest examples of natural beauty and elegance.

Arquitectonica’s Peter Brannan, managing director for Asia says translating this design into mall features meant not only providing the usual retail, service and transport facilities. “It also has to act as the social hub, much like the marketplaces or town squares in the old, traditional communities,” Brannan said.

This prompted Arquitectonica to propose “community” features such as a landscaped roof deck that can act like a “Central Park” called the Sky Park.

The design also includes a central courtyard with a 150-meter modern bell tower which can be the centerpiece of community events like fiestas or New Year Event countdowns. Add to this the “Cube” sculpture at the facade of the mall which is an anagram for “Cebu,” serving currently as one of the more popular “selfie” spots for shoppers and tourists. Nearby at the complex is the Chapel of San Pedro Calungsod with a hundred walls, which has emerged as one of the city’s favorite wedding destinations.

Now in operation, the mall makes this communal spirit much more apparent.

“We understand that Cebuanos have a very strong sense of community, so we wanted to make sure we gave them a venue in which they could celebrate this communal spirit,” Brannan said.

The Sy family envisoned the 30-hectare SM Seaside City complex as a regional destination, bringing together local and foreign tourists from all walks of life mainly from the Visayas and Mindanao regions.

But beyond the mall’s aesthetics, SM believes that investing in sustainability safeguards the welfare of the customers, the tenants, and the malls’s host communities. SM Prime Holdings, Inc. president Hans T. Sy said  during speech at the UNISDR General Meeting in London in November that depending on the location and assessment of SM’s projects, around 10 percent of capital expenditure is allocated to disaster resilience which requires making the mall structure resistant to risk from potential disasters. “My experience has proven that investing in resilience of our company’s assets makes good business sense,” Sy said.

For its Seaside mall, architect Fides Hsu, vice president of SM Engineering, Design and Development Corp. said SM Prime hired design experts who gave extra attention to the challenges of weather, especially typhoon and flooding given its location by the sea. SM Prime backfilled soil onto the reclaimed property specifically on the roads so that the whole complex where the mall sits is elevated by approximately 4.5 meters from the city roads. Due to its elevation, a lower carpark level was created to accommodate 1,700 vehicles. Furthermore, all necessary electrical and mechanical equipment are located on the roof deck.

ACIRC

ARQUITECTONICA

BRANNAN

CENTRAL PARK

CHAPEL OF SAN PEDRO CALUNGSOD

DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT CORP

FIDES HSU

GENERAL MEETING

HANS T

MALL

SY

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