pellow + associates architects: designed to succeed.

Mapleview Centre

Mapleview Centre
Burlington, Ontario
Ivanhoe Cambridge
Building area:
60,825 square meters

The challenge

Ivanhoe Cambridge had two Ontario shopping malls in need of redevelopment: 25-year-old Mapleview Centre in Burlington and 37-year-old Conestoga Mall in Waterloo. At both sites, the redevelopment was driven by a desire to make the mall more upscale and fashion-centric. Ivanhoe Cambridge also wanted Mapleview to be more visible to people travelling on the Queen Elizabeth Highway, which ran alongside the mall.

Both projects included redesign of the existing facilities plus expansions of about 100,000 square feet in each mall, including new food courts with about 700 to 800 seats. The Conestoga project, which was a multi-phased expansion, also included design for a new Hudson’s Bay prototype store. With each mall’s project budget set at $40 million, the pellow team was challenged to deliver design with high strategic impact within rather tight financial constraints.

The solution

With both projects, a significant portion of the budget was allocated into expanding the mall, but the older parts still needed to be refinished to achieve a cohesive, refreshed feel throughout. At Mapleview, pellow used and positioned new material strategically while retaining much of the existing structure. The team used wave-patterned gypsum panels to cover sections of the mall’s shed-type, corrugated metal ceiling. The entire mall was repainted, from grey to off-white, all interior columns were clad with wood paneling to add warmth and texture. Because there was no room in the budget for new tiles in the old section of the mall, pellow picked 12” x 24” tiles for the expansion with colours that were compatible with the existing 12” x 12” tiles. pellow’s design also brought the food court from the ground floor to the second level, along a huge window overlooking the highway. Two new restaurants at ground level have big outdoor patios and can be accessed from both inside and outside the mall.

Conestoga’s redesign, while similar to Mapleview in terms of project and business objectives, included the added challenge of a Y-shaped layout at one end of the mall.  This made it necessary for shoppers to go and up down the same corridor instead of being able to walk continuously in one direction – an inconvenience that affected traffic to retailers in these corridors. To address this issue, pellow closed the ends of the Y to create a loop, creating a racetrack design that gives shoppers easy access to all stores. A food court was placed in the previously open end of the Y, with windows facing the movie theatre complex just a few feet outside. This created a direct relationship between the mall, food court and the theatre.

To refresh the old parts of the mall while staying within budget, pellow stripped the original trim details but kept the existing drywall ceiling. New, modern finishes were added, including wood details to warm up the space and new floors throughout. In both projects, pellow enclosed the loading docks with transparent overhead doors to give them a storefront-like aesthetic that blended in with the rest of the mall.

The exteriors for Mapleview and Conestoga were also transformed to convey a stronger presence from the street. Both malls were essentially turned inside out, with large windows and signage facing the street as well as ground-level restaurants with outdoor patios accessible from outside the mall as well as from inside.

The results

As designed by pellow, the redevelopment of Mapleview Centre and Conestoga Mall resulted in an upscale look with a fashion-focused theme for both shopping centres. Previously faceless exteriors now have vibrant storefronts that relate to surrounding streets and are easily noticed from the road or highway. Since their redevelopment, which was finished in late 2009, customer traffic has increased dramatically in both malls. Both designs have also earned acclaim from the retail and design industries. In 2010, Conestoga won the Canadian Gold award from the International Council of Shopping Centres while Mapleview won the Silver. Conestoga also received an Award of Merit the same year from the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario.