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Dead mall transformed into urban park, complete with wading pool

A novel take on what to do with abandoned malls

Children playing in wading pool with beamed structures in the distance. Daria Scagliola

As people increasingly turn to online shopping, the future of physical malls is much debated. Will they die forever, remembered only by abandoned mall nostalgia shots? Will they morph into community gathering places, anchored by buzzy entertainment attractions?

MVRDV has another idea: The inventive Dutch firm just turned one such defunct mall in Taiwan into an urban park filled with “modern ruins.”

Aerial shot of pool next to street. Daria Scagliola

The newly opened Tainan Spring in Tainan replaces the sunken parking level of a shuttered shopping center with a “lush lagoon”, a public park and wading pool surrounded by local plants and crumbling remains of the former mall.

“In Tainan Spring, people can bathe in the overgrown remains of a shopping mall,” said Winy Maas, founding partner of MVRDV. “Children will soon be swimming in the ruins of the past—how fantastic is that?”

For more examples of transformative urban parks born of adaptive reuse, check out our roundup right over here.

Teens standing on man made beach in water park Daria Scagliola
Pool at night Daria Scagliola