From The Straits Times    |


Photo: CapitaLand/Facebook

After three years of development, Funan, which was formerly known as the Funan DigitaLife Mall, will finally be back in business on June 28. With 184 tenants that range from new-to-market and new concept to familiar homegrown and returning brands over 12 floors (10 overground and two underground), the revamped complex, which exists alongside office and residential spaces, is set to shake up the retail scene in Singapore and satisfy our favourite pastime — shopping.

But before you brush aside the refurbished mall as just another shopping centre (after all, Singapore is like a mecca for shopping malls), here are seven things you can look forward to at the new Funan.


1. It contains a cool Tree Of Life

tree of life


Photo: CapitaLand/Facebook

Made with over 250 tonnes of composite steel and coming in at a towering height of 25-metres, the Tree Of Life will be the first thing to catch your eye when you enter the revamped Funan. Said to symbolise the creative dynamism and the fostering of curiosity in the retail space, the Tree spans from basement 2 to level 4 and holds 20 retail pods for both established and emerging brands to showcase their products.

Not only does it allow the mall and brands to create differentiated experiences, it is also a reason for you to swing by the mall every once in a while as the offerings are rotated in a pop-up concept.


2. It’s a place for art


Photo: CapitaLand/Facebook



Another eye-catching feature you can encounter in Funan is the multimedia art installation titled the Kinetic Wall. Constructed with 1,271 specially designed motorised light blades mounted on 13 by nine metre aluminium panels, the Kinetic Wall can be programmed to display a slew of animated content besides the usual date and time display.

The Wall is also complemented with a mirrored ceiling to guarantee a grandiose and expansive visual experience.

If you thought that the Wall is all there is, art-wise, to Funan, you’ll be mistaken. One of the biggest highlights of the new mall’s lineup is the theatre and studio founded by local theatre group Wild Rice that will play host to the company’s productions with about 350 seats.


3. Unwind at the 18,000 sq ft Food Garden


Photo: CapitaLand/Facebook

Ever wondered how urban farming works? Now you can, at the urban farm located in the development’s Food Garden on the seventh floor. Helmed by the Edible Garden City, a local company that champions the grow-your-own-food movement in dense cityscapes such as Singapore, the 5,000 sq ft farm will play host to a variety of edible fruits and vegetables including lemongrass, dragonfruit and passionfruit.

In addition, the rest of the floor will also contain a mushroom growing chamber as well as aeroponics technology. The farm is open to public and you can enter the grounds and see how urban farming works to grow these pesticide-free produce.

But that isn’t all there is to the urban farm — Spa Esprit’s first Japanese restaurant, Noka, located just outside the 18,000 sq ft space, will curate and use these produce in their dishes. Truly, a farm-to-table experience in Singapore


4. You can literally cycle into and through the mall


Photo: CapitaLand/Facebook

Bringing new meaning to park and ride, Funan features a 200 metre cycling path across the first level. The path extends from a shared outdoor cycling and walking route along North Bridge Road to the Bicycle Hub located at the back of the building. Should you choose to cycle to Funan, the hub contains shower cabins and lockers for you to freshen up, alongside its 166 bicycle bays and a bicycle repair and pump station.

The path can be used by both cyclists and personal mobility devices (PMDs) users alike and the LED light strips will light up when movement is detected by the ceiling motion sensor camera.

For non-cyclists, you can rest assured that the mall will still be safe for you — Funan has stated that cycling through the mall is only allowed during morning rush hour before the mall opens and cyclists cannot stray beyond the path. Cyclists are also required to dismount and push their bikes during operating hours (from 10 am to 10 pm) with signs reminding to do so.

Lastly, speed regulating strips are built into the path to deter speeding.



5. Shop at these new-to-market brands


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Shopping is second-nature to Singaporeans. So of course, the new Funan will be introducing new brands to the market to satiate our cravings. Remember the indoor cycling track? Well, if you don’t already own a bike, you can get one at Brompton Junction. The British bicycle manufacturer known for its foldable iterations will be opening its first store in Singapore, which also happens to be its Southeast Asia flagship store, at Funan.

Brompton will also launch a special Lion City edition that will only be available at the Funan store. Another popular brand, Dyson, which is known for its Supersonic hair dryer and newer Airwrap as well as other household appliances, will also be opening its first standalone and beauty-only concept store.

Familiar bands will also be introducing new concepts. For example, Golden Village will be featuring two new seating concepts — Deluxe Plus and Gold Class Express — to their latest seven-screen multiplex, while FairPrice Finest will allow customers to shop and pay through their mobile. Looking for a new gym? The True Group will launch its flagship TFX fitness centre and it is its only fitness centre in Singapore to have a swimming pool, outdoor deck and smart training systems.

We hear that 30 per cent of the over 180 brands housed are new-to-market brands, new concept stores or flagships, which means that Funan should be on your next shopping list if it isn’t already.


6. Play futsal or rock climb at the Rooftop Garden

rock climb

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If it isn’t apparent enough, Funan has a whole slew of activities ready for you. But if you need more, here are some other things you can do. First, head to the Climb Central indoor rock climbing wall that spans from basement 2 to level 2 and boasts 46 lanes. Next, head to the 32,000 sq ft rooftop garden on level 10.

Not only do you get a panoramic view of the surrounding civic district that will serve as great OOTD backdrops, there is also a futsal court by The Ark, which allows five-a-side matches.

Prefer something more chill? You can while the day away while lounging on the wooden chairs available.


7. Welcome back old brands

old brands

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If you’re lamenting the loss of the old Funan DigitaLife Mall, you’ll be heartened to hear that many past tenants will make their comeback with the new iteration. These brands include local favourites such as Ya Kun Kaya Toast, Qi Ji and Old Chang Kee, while techies can head to Funan to shop for IT wares too, with labels such as furniture and IT store Courts and photography store Alan Photo and T K Photo.