September 26, 2020

A Road to the Magnificent: An Architectural Review Of Packages Mall, Lahore

Charcha for Packages Mall, Lahore

Packages Mall

The eye of a wonders’ enthusiast

Lahore, the thriving city of arts and culture, is one of the most visited tourists places of Pakistan. I am so fortunate to be born and raised in the city like Lahore. A city that houses lively, hospitable people and a rich culture. Being a “wonders enthusiast”, I am a wanderer of urban built environment and nature. The spectacular vistas catch me at the very first glance!

From bazaar, to plaza, to international mall

In the past few years, Lahore’s entertainment complexes and shopping areas have kept on intercepting me due to their remarkable transformations. Pacing with the world, Lahore has moved on from famous traditional bazaars to modern, elegant Plazas and most recently to the majestic malls. One such Splendor, “Packages Mall” is sited at Walton road which is one of the major arteries of the city. The magnificently standing mall loudly slogans: “Where Lahore Comes to Shop”.

It is a combined design, visualization and realization effort of foreign and local professionals to satisfy the needs of all income groups under one roof. The mall encompasses over 200 brands, a multiplex cinema, food court, play area, prayer area, intermittent sitting spaces, hyper store-carrefour and a vast parking zone (with Reserved parking for women in all parking lots and special parking and accessibility options for disabled customers).

Figure 1: Night View Packages Mall (Picture Credits: Author)

The site of mall is the largest retail hub linking the areas of DHA, Cantonment, Officer’s colony, Railway colony and Ferozepur road. The well infused local and global urbanity makes the Packages Mall fit to be called a first “International Mall” of its kind in the expanse. 

Figure 2: Bird Eye View Packages Mall (Picture Credits: Packages Mall)

Besides being meeting International standards, the walkable and interactive spaces of the mall, unfold at every step an enchanting experience of being Global at one’s very own locality. 

Figure 3: Exit/ Entry Points of Packages Mall (Picture Credits: Packages Mall)

Traffic congestion: problems that must be solved

In Figure 3 the arrow near the bottom of the picture marks the multi-lane entry/exit (Functional) at Walton Road and the one towards the left side of the image is multi-lane entry/exit gate (Non-functional) at Khayaban-e-Iqbal, DHA. Diverting all the traffic towards only one functional Exit/Entry point has raised the traffic congestion that cannot be afforded by any vital artery like Walton road. All the traffic is directed from Defence road and the Khayaban-e-Iqbal road towards the already traffic loaded area, that reach to its peak on Weekends and Promotion Days.

Figure 4: Depth Map Analysis of the areas/roads adjoining to Packages Mall

Poor planning leads to potential fatality

This patch of Walton road leads to Ferozpur road and integrates a very important part that comprises of major hospitals like General hospital. The Ferozpur road is further linked to Kasur city. Moreover, the overhead bridge ahead is again leading to the patch of Ferozpur Road towards Model Town having Hospitals like Ghulab Devi and Children’s Hospital. Thus, this patch of Walton road is a conduit way towards many significant areas and the aforementioned Traffic Congestion leads to blockage. Unfortunately, many patients often get stuck.

A wise word for resolution

The solution is to operate the other exit/entry Point of Mall located at Khayaban e Iqbal road. Such a measure divides the traffic load. Another viability is to provide underpass on Walton Road and increase the width of the road by providing a carriageway dedicated to Packages mall. This will aid in smooth traffic flow. The suggested underpass will not only serve as a signal-free corridor leading to Kasur and Ferozpur Road but this will also minimize lead time to health facilities. 

The Splendors remain superlative and most visited till they don’t start generating bottlenecks! It’s the right time to address this problem before it would mask the grandeur of Packages Mall. 

“We are built to conquer the environment, solve problems, achieve goals, and we find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conquer and goals to achieve.” (Maxwell Maltz)

Ar. Sahar Amjad

M-Arch Scholar (UET, Lahore)

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