The Philippines has sure-fire indicators of progress in commercial establishments that mushroom in any vicinity: fastfood chains like Jollibee, McDonalds and Chowking; banks like Banco de Oro and BPI, groceries like Pure Gold and Rustan's, and malls like SM, Robinson's and Gaisano. When you find these names in any Philippine locality, they usually indicate a bustling economic and traffic activity in the area.
During our recent visit to Davao, we've finally set foot on the sprawling SM Lanang Premier, a shopping center along J.P. Laurel, the same commercial road where one could find Abreeza Ayala Mall, Victoria Plaza and Gaisano Mall of Davao. The mall has a gross floor area of 1,560,000 square feet, with 273 leasable units. But what sets this apart from the other SM Malls is its wide open spaces, punctuated by glass partitions, bright geometric lines and a breezy architectural design that makes it seem like you're in some architectural playland. Curiously, to underline its demographic (probably as a message to compete with the upscale atmosphere of nearby Abreeza), the mall has done away with a "food court" - and what SM does not have a unified food plaza?
A good part of Lanang Golf and Country Club has been turned into a mall; the city's second SM and the country's 46th SM mall. The exterior design is said to be inspired by the traditional Japanese art of paper folding - origami - with abstract and asymmetric lines introduced in each of the mall's facade (except the eastern wing). At the back of the shopping complex stands Park Inn, supposedly managed by the Radisson Group, believed to be as tall as Davao's tallest hotel (though this will soon be dwarfed by Aeon Towers beside Abreeza).
A row of restaurants and bars could be found at the JP Laurel facade just above the taxi bay. This will be featured on our next post.
This is the Eye in the Sky!
|Going towards SM Premier's cinemas which has an IMAX theater.|
|Escalator towards SMX Convention Center|
|The taxi bay facing JP Laurel.|