• Marie

Mall of Switzerland

Mis à jour : 4 mai 2019



Only fools do not change their minds.

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The Mall of Switzerland opened on November 8th, 2017 along the S1 train line direction Luzern, 20 minutes away maximum from Zug if you catch a direct train (meaning, if you do not have to wait in Rotkreuz for 15mn). With my Dubai experience of malls in mind, I visited the new shopping centre twice, once a week after it opened, and then a week before Christmas vacations started.

The first visit did not impress me so much, to be honest. Of course I cannot compare with the ridiculously out-of-limits malls of the UAE (the closest comparison in size and atmosphere being Marina Mall, though).

However a fair share of shops were still closed or in work-in-progress status although they were already listed on the website. The entire place slightly smelled like gasoline and I am even not talking about the shops whose pret-a-porter clothing items smelled like burnt plastic (which, in general is still the case in places like H&M or equivalent). A quite creepy male representative of a cosmetic shop tried to sell me the benefits of manicure and massage in a half-finished shop. And everywhere, pretty much everyone seemed bored, except in the usually-buzzing Bachmann bakery and Migros canteen.

Talking about the big M, I was also surprised to find there, again, all Migros-style brands that you can already find in Metalli or Zugerland, making the trip to Buchrain unsatisfying at first. Many surveyors were around to collect visitors' feedback and I was glad I could share these impressions.

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My second visit was a lot more convincing as all negative items mentioned above improved within a month. It finally smelled fresh in the mall (again, I distinguish here the smell of the entire area vs. the smell from poorly produced clothes). The elevator from the S-Bahn platform to the entrance of the Mall finally worked (I do not mind walking up stairs, but I saw families with strollers struggling); it led way to a great musical wall where kids and adults could try various instruments in a noise-controlled environment. The aquarium of the interactive screen had turned into a nice winter scenery, and a lovely Christmas tree had been placed in the centre. The shops were finally open, and apart from the hourly Christmassy light-and-music show it was pleasantly quiet.

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On the environmental level, I got in touch with the PR company in charge of the Mall's communications, as the website focuses on the building's architectures only. As per the press article covering the topic almost 1,5 year before it actually opened, the ecological footprint of the shopping centre is based on the following pillars, reflecting the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability:

- social: the Mall has been designed to be a place of gathering, a multi-usage area directed to a broad regional area and offering a broad range of shops and services

- economic: the shopping centre should be offering between 1,000 and 1,100 jobs and stimulate the local economy

- environment: the site is directly accessible via public transportation, and the parking immediately connects with the highway, whose connection is controlled for noise and carbon emissions. Moreover, the Mall itself, but also the other buildings around it, can be heated for the most part with waste heat from the shops and restaurants. On cold winter days, at times of the day when a lot of heat is needed, the district heating from the waste incineration plant Perlen can also be used. At last, the site is BREEAM-certified, providing highest standards of sustainability for buildings (from design, construction to operation phases).

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On the personal level, here are my plus and minus points given to the Mall:

Plus:

- the direct access from the S1 platform, and the easy communications on screens to see the next trains and bus

- the size is agreeable and the place is not overwhelming

- the building's design brings a lot of clear light in

- some recycling station here and there

- finally some fresh air!

- and special thumb up to the lovely team of Kaleidoscop, the amazing kid play area which did remember my son on his second visit, and welcomed him with as much heart and smiles as the first time

Minus:

- the impression to visit a renewed version of Zugerland in terms of shopping options

- while the overall quietness is appreciated, there was a little something of "it's too quiet in here" that made me almost bored while walking around

- do not be fooled by the name "Surf Café" especially if you expect to ride a good wave: you'll be standing in one of the Mall's corridors, on a moving but fixed board. And if you expect some coffee with it you'll sit somehow in the middle of nowhere on a carton chair. To be continued in April, when the new leasure area opens.

#Blog #mobility #transports #Sustainability #Zug #consumption #design

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