Funan is back. Every geek born in the 70s and 80s would have visited the place more than a dozen times over their lifetime. It had transformed a few times over it’s previous life, and before it’s closure, it remains as a quiet but reputable place to shop for electronics and tech stuff.
Now that it is re-opened, the place is completely transformed with vibes and excellent tenant mix of fashion, arts, technology, and food. A place where you can live, work and play.
Here’s a reminder of how Funan looked like in June 2016, during the final days of its operation.
I like that Funan retains some of the old layout, like having two major entrances on both North Bridge Road and Hill Street, as well as direct escalator entrances from Coleman Street leading to upper floors as well as basement, where most of the food outlets and restaurants are located. The upper floors also have a few small eateries and cafes. Levels 1 and 2 are mostly fashion, and Levels 3 onwards are electronics. There isn’t as much geek stuff as before, but there are increase of brand specialty shops, like Audio-Technica, DJI, Nikon, Dyson. Some of which are first in the country. I like that many of the gadget shops have very cosy designs.
The mall is full of little floating islands that extend out to the middle of the mall, allowing the shoppers to opt for stairs to get around. There are also ample places to sit around and chill, and some seating areas even come with free wireless charging pads. The drawback is that you cannot see all the shops at one glance, unlike the past.
Besides the interior, Funan has a roof top access from Level 4. It offers an outdoor glimpse of the surrounding landscape and will be a new haunt for lovers and photographers.
The rooftop is not exactly very spacious, but is designed with natural partitions which provide privacy within group interactions.
People with fear of heights can just take the lift to Level 7, but only 2 lifts serve to the rooftop.
Check out the Lego model of the Funan at the Concierge located at B2.
The new Funan is more space-optimised, and by that I meant “cramped”. The main walk path can be jam at times, and due to the opening hype, there are also many pop-up booths without defined retail areas, which led to some confusion whether they are public areas or part of a shop. Other than the walk areas, there are ample places to sit around and watch life go by.
What I like about the new Funan
It’s not the design, which is just looks. It’s not the shops, though I am excited that I might come here once a while to review products not available for loan. What I like is the space to sit around. A lot of times when people visit a mall, they get tired, or that they have to wait for the other party to finish their shopping. Instead of having to sit at cafes – provided you can find a seat – Funan has seating spaces at the stairs. It is important to have resting areas so that crowds can just hang out. Eventually, these people who sit around doing nothing will end up spending at the mall.
What I Don’t Like
It has lost the tech geek identity, but I don’t blame Capitaland for this. If they wanted to retain the old charm, then they should not have torn down the whole mall in the first place.
Parking tip: if you have trouble finding parking lot at Funan, I recommend parking at Parliament House. It’s just a 5-minute walk and the parking rates are low. Skip the North Bridge Road which can get congested. Take Hill Street, then turn into High Street, and drive past North Bridge Road junction.