Adaptive Reuse of Big Box Stores and Malls

Author: Christina Meyer, National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) Fellow, with guidance from LS3P

For decades the mall was a beacon of economic success and a highlight of American ideals. Malls brought about massive job creation, presented a fun and engaging outlet for time and money, and gave generations of Americans a place to experience a slice of luxury as shopping transformed from a chore to a pastime. Malls and shopping even became to a degree synonymous with American excess consumerism in pop culture and shaped the way that Americans see themselves and are viewed by others. This was extended further with the emergence of the big box store, a more streamlined shopping experience. As the world has continued to change, so has the perception and usage of malls. With increasing globalization, the rise of ecommerence, and recent global health considerations, malls have found themselves on the back foot in their attempt to reach consumers. Gone are the days where shoppers could spend an entire day at the mall looking for what they wanted as now all it takes is a few clicks of a mouse to open up an entire world of shopping that is both more vast and more convenient.

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