BC: It's the little things that make life beautiful.
FC: No 1 Bukit Batok Central Link, #02-19 West Mall Singapore 658713 | THE WEST MALL | Social studies AA 2012
1: At the entrance of the West mall... | West Mall, a successful and established shopping centre located at Bukit Batok Central, opened in 1998 to provide an “All-in-One Shopping & Entertainment Experience For The Family”. West Mall has continued to be a focal point for shopping and entertainment for residents in the surrounding area.
2: (the rest of the basements are car parks)
3: Basement 1~ | A dry cleaning shop | A Gongcha outlet | Basement 1 is a level more suited for housewives and the elderly as only groceries, cooked snacks (like bak kwa and rice dumplings) and herbs, other than the Gongcha outlet, which is more for the young.
4: The ground floor of the mall | The ground floor hall is used by different companies for short periods of time to promote their products as the ground floor is the most accessible and outstanding place
5: The ground floor is an effective common space as it allows people to interact with each other both socially(social gatherings) and economically(buying things). All kinds of shops are available to cater to the (daily)needs of different age-groups and prices are equal for all. | People socializing | Social and Economic activities taking place...
6: Level 2~
7: Level 2 is a less effective common space than the ground floor as it is catered to less people, namely the children and adults. The shops and facilities available are less suited for the aged.
8: children playing with electronic devices on sale
9: Level 3~ | Level 3 is more for the tech-savvy people, other than the library. The library is a common sight in many parts of Singapore. It has limited effectiveness as a common space as people are not allowed to speak or use cell phones as it may disrupt others, resulting in interactions being unable to take place. However, it also communicates knowledge so that people can understand each other better.
10: Old folks enjoying lunch at the food court with friends | The most common place in a mall - the food court | Level 4 is a relatively effective common space as there are more places for people to interact. My mother herself made friends while choosing books in the book shop. The food court is also a nice place to catch up with friends in a less costly manner. It is catered towards people of all ages, genders and races.
11: Level 4~
13: The cinema! | Level 5~ | One of my interviewees told me that the first thing she would think about West Mall is the arcade and this mall caters for the youth and adults, not too much for the elderly. Both the arcade and cinemas are for the people's enjoyment, though the Singapore Post, also located at the 5th floor, is for more practical purposes.
14: Shops around ground level of the mall
15: There are many other shops around the ground floor of the mall, which caters to all the different people and is a good place to meet up
16: Conclusion & Reflections The mall is not a very effective common space in total as most people only shop or watch movies there and stay in their own little groups instead of making any real interactions that build up new friendships. However, identity and belonging may be present as it is a neighbourhood mall and is convenient to access due to the MRT station and bus interchange near by. There are also places like the arcade in the mall that young people may be able to relate to. A measure that the management can implement is to open shops that can adhere to the needs of different ethic groups, and also organise events regularly instead of only during festivals. This will increase the interactions between the shoppers and build up a sense of belonging, friendships and make the mall a better common space.
17: Bibliography: - Happenings at west mall. (2012, March 31). Retrieved from http://www.westmall.com.sg/happening.html - West mall. (2012, April 13). Retrieved from http://comesingapore.com/tourist-directory/review/389/west-mall