exton, chester county, pennsylvania
The Exton Square Mall was a true architectural anomaly, given its “hole in the doughnut” format , characterized by a single centrally-located “anchor” department store. Cee Jay Frederick Associates was hired to serve as the lead planning and zoning consultant for the rezoning that was needed to renovate and expand the mall to add three additional anchors at its perimeter, as well as to reorganize and reconfigure the existing “pad site” uses, which in one instance involved the moving and historic restoration/preservation of a mid-eighteenth century National Register Farmhouse. In addition, the firm was responsible for the development of the overall architectural design concepts, the detailed architectural design and documentation of two pad site buildings and related site development, and all detailed site and landscape/hardscape design and documentation for the overall property, parking areas and curb-to-building spaces.
Conceptually the architectural and landscape architectural transformation of the buildings, site and signage package of improvements made marked reference, albeit sometimes more abstract in nature, to the agrarian heritage and land use of the area. Landscape and hardscape features incorporated the strongest references in this regard as manifest in the geometric/orchard-like treatments of the site entrances in terms of the paving patterns, planter configurations, and even the selection of the plant material, itself. The central parking area at the front of the Center is similarly configured and even features a multicolored patterning of concrete pavers to resemble contoured field farming at the vehicular travel and parking spaces. These themes and motifs extended to include the design and development of related site signage, accordingly, to address the same farm/barn aesthetic adopted for the Center.