Palladium shopping mall, Chennai (India)


Palladium shopping mall, Chennai (India)

“Today, trade must surprise to attract. The Palladium Mall in Chennai achieves this with its tridimensional skin, evoking a luxury jewellery box.”






Architect: Urban Studio, Nath Pronit, 
Technique: Customised zinc panel, Surface aspect: PIGMENTO® Brown


Shopping malls symbolise economic growth in contemporary India. While the country had just 3 shopping malls in 2001, according to Asipac Consulting, there were 570 malls in India in 2013. This “mall-mania” is present in all large Indian cities: 34 new shopping malls will be inaugurated by 2020. Although they have not replaced the Kirina Shop, a sort of general grocery store providing supplies for the majority of the population, shopping malls embody a western lifestyle, and a form of modernity. People go there to shop, meet each other and enjoy themselves.




After Mumbai, the promoter Phoenix Mill has just inaugurated a shopping mall in Chennai, the fifth largest city in the country. Under the Palladium banner, 70 brands are gathered in a place that provides a luxury goods shopping experience. The architects at Urban Studio treated the volume of the mall like a jewellery box clad in PIGMENTO® brown zinc, to express the exceptional nature of the programme. It was not just a question of colour, there was also the issue of ornamentality. Several solutions were envisaged to create a vibrant skin: made-to-measure ADEKA®-type or pre-formed shingles, rhomboid shingles, etc. In the end, the architects and the client opted for an unusual solution: installation of a customised folded cassette to add three-dimensional volumes.


Five different modules were necessary to re-create an effect that evokes the facade of the Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara. The height of the relief on each type of module varies to adapt to the various parts of the facade, divided into three cases: flat parts, curved “transition” parts requiring three different modules and main parts, without any overhanging coping. An innovative solution demonstrating the creativity and openness of a market which, despite its widespread use of metal, discovered zinc only very recently.