Final openings due at vast Gensler-designed American Dream mega-mall
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Final openings due at vast Gensler-designed American Dream mega-mall

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With a destination as large as American Dream, it was important to design a circulation path that guides people to where they want to go while also integrating unexpected moments of excitement and discovery along the way.
– Joseph Lauro

The final retail and dining offerings are due to open next month the vast American Dream leisure, entertainment and retail complex in the US state of New Jersey, which opened in October having broken ground in 2004.

Developed by Triple Five Group and designed by Gensler, the destination covers 3,000,000 sq ft (280,000sq m), with over 450 stores and 15 attractions.

According to Don Ghermezian, president of American Dream, this mix of leisure, entertainment and retail elements is a key part of Triple Five's approach.

“For over 35 years, Triple Five Group has embraced the concept that retail cannot exist without entertainment and experiential elements, and American Dream will further raise the bar, he explained. "Guests will experience something completely unique each time they visit–this project will be the realization of their wildest dreams.”

This is manifested by the six huge atriums of the complex, which variously house a hub for live events and social gathering, Big SNOW – said to be the first indoor snowpark in North America, DreamWorks Water Park – said to be the largest indoor water park in North America – and Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park – claimed to be the largest indoor theme park in the Western Hemisphere.

There's also an NHL-sized ice-skating rink, a performing arts theatre, a kids' activity centre, a luxury cinema, a 300ft (91m) observation wheel overlooking Manhattan, a Sea Life Aquarium, a Legoland Discovery Center, a climbing centre and two 18-hole miniature golf courses.

"The architecture of the project is uniquely linked to the visitor experience," said Joseph Lauro, managing director and principal at Gensler." With a destination as large as American Dream, it was important to design a circulation path that guides people to where they want to go while also integrating unexpected moments of excitement and discovery along the way.

"Ranging from site-specific art installations to an indoor meadow where rabbits roam, these surprises enhance the visitor journey rather than direct guests down a straight corridor. We also had to balance creating an intimate, personal experience while conveying the complete entertainment offering that is available since it makes up more than half of the complex. With retail being ancillary to the attractions, the stores around each entertainment offering were curated to complement the experience."

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The final retail and dining offerings are due to open next month the vast American Dream leisure, entertainment and retail complex in the US state of New Jersey, which opened in October having broken ground in 2004.
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