The visual image of the shopping mall ALEJA attracts the attention of both visitors and passers-by, making the building a recognizable object. The curved facade facing the street has a strong visual effect created by the rhythm of the vertical lamellas in combination with the large, slim cantilever. This effect is complemented by a bright red facade tone. The pattern of decorative lighting at the tips of lamellas creates a special mood when passing by in the dark.
The shopping mall building consists of two volumes:
- new building – a curved two-level volume along the main street;
- a reconstruction of a former robot factory hangar – a single-level rectangular volume hidden in courtyard.
At the courtyard both parts of the building are visually connected by entrance canopies, which smoothly continue the curved shape of the new building volume, preserving the aesthetics of the street facade. The curvature of the canopies hides the rectangular volume, preventing the formation of monotounos large-scale building.
In order to separate the publicly active outdoor area – entrances of the shopping centre, vehicle parking area, recreation areas – from the high-intensity traffic junction, pavilion building is created. It continues the curvature of the building, closing the total composition, it includes a number of additional functions - trading areas, canopy with a rest area, advertising flags, bicycle parking.
Pedestrian pathways that surround and stretch through the vehicle parking and greenery areas provides a convenient way for pedestrians and cyclists to move. The outdoor amenities are stylistically integrated with the building, dark grey and red accents are used in both the elements of the amenities and the choice of greenery. The site is complemented by groups of trees and bushes, including a Christmas tree, a group of round benches-planting boxes, benches, tables, rubbish bins, bicycle parking areas, dog tethering hooks.
The indoor structure of the mall is defined by a public corridor that stretches through the building. Visitor entrances from the public outdoor area are located at both ends and at the centre of building. Commercial, service and catering facilities are located on both sides of the corridor. The partition walls adjacent to the corridor are made with wide shop windows and entrance portals, ancillary rooms and areas are located away from the corridor - at the outer walls of the building. The total floor area of the mall is approximately 12 900 m2.
The building has a two-level atrium, which is designed as an interior accent with an inviting curved staircase and a decorative sculptural tree. Interior of this area references the outdoor visual format. Atrium allows the retail space on the upper floor to be seen from the ground floor creating visual connection.
The project is carried out with consideration of an indoor - outdoor connection, which is important for a public space. It has been implemented with extensive entrance canopies, areas for outdoor terraces, outdoor furnishings, glazed entrances and facades to provide both visual interlinking and the maximum use of daylight.
Three catering establishments are located at the ground floor, each of them has a section of glazed facade, providing visitor halls with daylight and a direct exit to the outdoor terraces. The caterer located at the northern tip of the building has the most expressive location - visitor hall is designed as an open space at the height of both floors. It has large sections of glazed exterior walls that allow to oversee outdoor area in three directions. Visitor hall is complemented by an outdoor terrace under the large cantilever, which is accessed via wide sliding door system. Fitness centre is located at the upper floor of the building, several visitor halls are also designed with wide glazing, creating a successful solution - treadmills overlooking outdoor area.