Glitzy EmQuartier Bangkok joins The Emporium and other newly opened luxury malls in heralding a new era of sophisticated shopping experiencesby Percy Roxas
From The Emporium, you cross the sky bridge to reach EmQuartier – on a red carpet. You get the feeling that the red carpet was placed with a purpose as EmQuartier–the newest luxury mall to open in Bangkok—is, after all, supposed to be a symbol of the ultimate sophistication in Bangkok shopping. Indeed, it adds a touch of class to a city continuously evolving toward First World whimsy.
Opened in March, EmQuartier Bangkok (637 Sukhumvit Road//BTS: Phrom Phong) is part of The Mall Group’s multi-billion-baht “EM District Project,” which aims to transform Phrom Phong into one of the biggest retail hubs of the city.
EmQuartier stands opposite The Emporium, a sophisticated six-storey shopping center housing world-renowned designer brands, a luxurious cinema and state-of-the-art exhibition space, as well as an expansive supermarket and food court. Already, it is an attraction that garners much attention with its impressive design, giant glass panels, and sweeping futuristic floors enclosing a cool outside concourse space.
The mall is split up into three different zones, one of which is actually in a separate building connected by several walkways. These include The Glass Quartier, The Helix Quartier – Bangkok’s new dining extravaganza — with its 50-or- so restaurants, and The Waterfall Quartier, which is fronted by a modestly-sized waterfall in a pretty cool central atrium area. And there’s more, in fact.
Like The Emporium, EmQuartier Bangkok is home to a long list of designer brands. There’s Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, Jimmy Choo, Valentino, and Fendi, — among others on the ground and second floor spaces.
But head to the upper levels and you will see a mix of more affordable high-street brands such as Zara, Uniqlo, H&M, Gap, and Super Dry, as well as a good selection of homegrown brands, including Fly Now, Greyhound, Kloset, and Soda. There’re a whopping 400 labels in total occupying over 4,000 sqm of floor space.
One wonders why there is a need to open another glitzy mall in front of The Emporium itself, until you remember that another one is coming up: EmSphere, the third and final venue as part of the EM District project. Due for 2016 completion, Emsphere will take on a distinct spherical design with a giant glass roof and mostly luxury stores inside. The entire site will cover 600,000sqm of downtown Bangkok and offer over 1,000 international local and international retail stores.
Why indeed? Your guess is as good as ours.