Located in a suburb of Metro Vancouver, Aberdeen Centre offers a new paradigm for the North American mall. Unlike most shopping centres that look inward – cut off from the surrounding neighbourhood by blank, opaque, exterior walls and a sea of surface parking – the exuberant Aberdeen Centre was designed to integrate into and urbanize its community. The parking is contained in an above-ground structure within the building, allowing the building to meet and respond to the curving street. The colourful glass facade – the result of negotiations with the city that allowed the mandatory art budget to be used towards an innovative building cladding, as well as experimentation with a local glazing company to create a new technique that embeds translucent film into glass – showcases the entire building as a piece of public art. The interior is defined by a series of curving ‘streets’ and courtyards that create a sense of excitement and movement. Natural light washes in through the transparent and translucent glass walls, and through oval skylights that are carefully angled to bring in abundant natural light without allowing the sun to shine directly on, and damage, the merchandise.