myVillage: Carnival marks return of beloved Serangoon Garden hangout

Feb 18, 2011 | B2C, Case Study, Events, News & Updates, PurposeCORE, Singapore, SME

A beloved Serangoon Garden hangout will return from a two-year hiatus with a bang.

myVillage, formerly Serangoon Garden Village, will host a homecoming carnival for families and friends on Sunday, 20 February. All are invited to come in their casual best, let down their hair and do crazy things like eat on their beds and use pots and pans as target practice.

The carnival, called myVillage Affair, will begin at noon at the mall and along Maju Avenue. Shoppers can look forward to games with attractive prizes. Radio personality and Serangoon Garden resident Daniel Ong will emcee the event live from 5 to 9 pm, while Mrs Lim Hwee Hua, Minister, Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Finance and Transport, MP for Aljunied GRC, will join the festivities at 7 pm as the guest of honor. The carnival will end with a bang at 8 pm with a laser graffiti presentation and a confetti snowstorm.

The mall’s reopening signals a new chapter in the history of this neighbourhood haunt. The site at the corner of Farleigh and Maju Avenues was home to the iconic Paramount Theatre in the 1960s.

“Having grown up here, we know that a lot of people have great memories of this estate. We wanted to build on those memories and create something we would all love,” Edmund Chye, director at Chye Lee and Sons (CLS), developer for myVillage, said.

Heart of the community

CLS enlisted the help of Consulus, a branding consultancy firm, to research on the area’s rich history and find out how myVillage could become the heart of the community.

“Our research showed that the residents of Serangoon Gardens have a deep personal connection to the place and a strong sense of ownership. We proposed to replace the words ‘Serangoon Gardens’ with the word ‘my’. It’s a more honest reflection of what the place means to residents, which is really an extended personal space,” Lawrence Chong, Director for Strategy Development at Consulus, said.

The logo sculpture at the mall’s facade shows how the community has taken part in building the myVillage experience. More than 800 handwritten samples of the the word “my” collected from Serangoon Garden regulars form the myVillage logo.

Stand out while blending in

CLS spared no effort in creating a warm and inviting space in which people could feel at home.

According to Yeong Weng Fai, architect at DP Architects and long-time Serangoon Garden resident, the site had endeared itself to many generations of Serangoon Garden regulars. In the past many made it their ritual to catch the Sunday morning movie matinees at the Paramount Theatre. Today it continues to be a favourite spot for friendly chats over coffee.

“This notion of making places rather than spaces for myVillage was foremost in our minds as we endeavoured in creating a shopping experience that connected with the surrounding neighborhood.” Yeong said.

The architecture was created to welcome each visitor “to their courtyard” and to blur the lines between indoor and outdoor.

Glazed facades blend the building into its surroundings, while a skylight brings in natural daylight through a tree canopy pattern inspired by the large Angsana trees along myVillage.

Light-hearted nostalgia meets modern convenience

Popular tenants such as DBS, The Coffee Bean and Tea leaf and NTUC FairPrice, as shown by the research, are making a comeback. NTUC FairPrice and DBS have both upgraded their offerings by bringing in FairPrice Finest and DBS Treasures.

CLS spent a long time seeking out unique tenants to add more personality to the experience. People who want a tranquil and quaint place to dine and relax will love the modern oriental garden theme of Old Hong Kong Taste and the intimate booths in Shin Kushiya.

New tenants are bringing fresh and customised offerings to myVillage. Foodies can indulge their sweet tooth with Da Paolo Gastronomia’s famous tiramisu cakes, Udders’ scrumptious ice cream and Chinta Manis’ Peranakan delicacies. Also debuting in myVillage are the Bakerzin Artisan Bread concept store and Berrylite Petit’s frozen yogurt in a waffle bowl, both firsts in Singapore.

Visitors can experience the warmth of the community, as they walk through myVillage. Customer service officers, called myGurus, will rove around to greet people and attend to their needs. Shoppers can learn about the latest promotions and events through an interactive eConcierge system featuring mascots named Marley and Jules.

With a rich history, exciting flavours, and an intimately crafted retail space, myVillage is set to become the community’s favourite gathering point. It can be yours, too!

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