REAL ESTATE

Aventura Mall combines new digital technology with custom art

BY Marianne Wilson

Aventura, Fla. — Aventura Mall is the first U.S. shopping center to deploy a state-of-the-art digital map solution.

The shopping center has added seven interactive, digital directories that provide step-by-step directions and path drawing that guides shoppers to their desired location. The 70-inch, dual-sided, touch displays include the first vector-based maps with dynamic zoom and pan installed in a U.S. shopping center. The maps are designed to give shoppers in the 2.7 million-sq.-ft. mall a true perspective of distance to and arrival time at their destination.

Each of the directories is encased in custom pieces designed by Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Snarkitecture, an art and architecture collective spearheaded by visual artist Daniel Arsham and architect Alex Mustonen.

"We've once again collaborated with digital specialists and creative minds to enhance the Aventura Mall experience," said Jackie Soffer, co-chairman and CEO of Turnberry Associates, which owns and manages the shopping center. "Daniel and Alex took something standard – a mall directory casing – and have created unique, aesthetically pleasing pieces that blend seamlessly in their surroundings, yet would fit right in at the world's most renowned galleries."

Created from stacked DuPont Corian, the stepping layers of the digital directories produce the visual effect of both receding and expanding.

According to Snarkitecture: "We wanted to create a piece that was visually dynamic yet functional and approachable as a directory. We chose white Corian as a material because it has the weight and density of a natural material such as stone but is very minimal and clean. The stacked layers that fall away from the outer faces allow for the same object to be read in two completely different ways: a thin plane from head on and a solid monolith from the side."

Florida-based CMA oversaw the digital directories' technology and installation. The company created a custom software solution that includes the vector-based maps. The maps offer great detail without pixilation and enable visitors to search stores and restaurants using an on-screen keyboard that auto filters based on input of the first few letters.

Guests also can search for multiple destinations such as "dining" and select options from within a specific walking radius.

Smart pins allow Aventura Mall to display unique content based on the destination, including merchandise sales, restaurant menus, events, image galleries, movie theater show times and more. In addition, the maps are integrated with smartphones and tablets so customers can plan their entire visit and remain engaged throughout.

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