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Holder Mathias’s latest European retail project unveiled

15 Feb 2012

Holder Mathias has unveiled designs for its latest European retail project, an 11,300 sq metre designer outlet in Estonia.

Tallinn Outlet Centre is the second phase of the larger American Corner development.  It will include shops, restaurants and cafes as well as an artificial landscaped lake that can be used as an ice rink during winter months.

The €15million development is located in the country’s capital city, Tallinn. It aims to create an outlet centre attracting top fashion brands from across Europe as well as an expected two million visitors each year.  

Holder Mathias’s designs show an L-shaped covered shopping street that contains shops and restaurants which face south to overlook the large landscaped lake in the centre of the development. The space creates an attractive and leisurely atmosphere, offering visitors an enjoyable and relaxed shopping experience.

The two main directions of the shopping street meet in an open landscaped courtyard surrounded by deep arcades along the perimeter. This spacious courtyard provides a welcome break as well as greatly contributing to creating a diverse and interesting route for shoppers. The alternation of very distinct spaces is the unique feature of the development.  These spaces comprise exposed entrance squares, glazed covered streets, partitioned areas with galleries and spacious plaza overlooking the more natural setting of the scenic lake.

Sustainability formed a key part of Holder Mathias’s concept. The designs incorporate a variety of measures to reduce the environmental impact of the outlet centre. Around 16% of the plot has been dedicated to green space, and the proposed green roofs amount to a further 17%. Local materials will be used wherever possible and sustainable drainage (SUDs) measures will be implemented across the development, including an artificial lake operating as a retention reservoir and featuring permeable paving throughout.

The development has been located to make the most of the region’s excellent transport links. The outlet is clearly visible and directly accessible from the adjoining motorway that provides connections to the city centre, ferry port and local airport. There are also plans for a shuttle bus to run between the development and the city centre.

Estonia joined the European Union in 2004.  It is the most buoyant of all the Baltic States, having experienced exceptional GDP and disposable income growth in recent years. Despite the fact that Estonia is listed as a ‘high income economy’ and has a developed retail market, the Tallinn Outlet Centre is the first of its kind the country.

Natasha Chibireva, associate director at Holder Mathias, says: “The outlet centre will be definitively modern, yet retain a traditional local ‘feel’ by using local materials and silhouettes, as well as motifs for patterning. Thus, traditional Estonian lace patterns are used in the design of the public realm including pavements, a mini-amphitheatre on the lake and landscape features and street furniture along the streets.

“The key challenge we faced was to design a shopping outlet which is complete architecturally and aesthetically at all stages of its three-phase construction. Remaining in keeping with the bigger development at American Corner was another challenge. We hope that the landscape concept will help to unite the whole development.”

The outlet is the latest in a long line of retail projects Holder Mathias has designed across Europe.  The company has previously designed several major European outlets, such as One Fashion Outlet in Bratislava, Designer Outlet Brennero in Italy, and Villages des Alpes in Bellegarde.

Ms Chibireva added, “We were chosen to design the Tallinn Outlet Centre based on our extensive experience of successfully delivering retail projects. This is a key area for Holder Mathias and one we continue to see it increasing, with further large-scale retail projects in the pipeline.”

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