On December 31st, 2020, The Oval, a shopping mall owned by Dowell Commercial Real Estate, launched its grand opening in Chongqing. As the first curated retail project in southwest China, The Oval featured avant-garde artist John Lin’s first art-fashion crossover exhibit themed “Beyond Seeing” as the centerpiece of the day, along with rock music livehouse, top skater extreme performance show, and first independent coffee fair in Chongqing. The grand opening activities injected an atmosphere of free-spirited art and modernity into Chongqing which is imbued with history.
As the debut of Dowell Commercial Real Estate’s, THE OVAL product line, The Oval marks Dowell Group’s large-scale march into the commercial real estate industry. Leveraging its strong DNA in both residential and commercial space, Dowell is determined to create more high-quality flagship urban commercial compounds in the coming future.
“Beyond Seeing” Art Fest, Leading Urban Art Development
The “Beyond Seeing” art-fashion crossover exhibit showcases heavyweight works from fashion designers of the University of the Arts London. Zipeng Li, famous fashion consultant who has worked closely with top magazines and luxury brands, joined his creative power with that of John Lin, and together created a unique opportunity for young consumers to see global fashion trends up and close. The exhibit is also the first commercial collaboration for John Lin in southwest China, and his visual art installation dramatically presented the London designer’s works as a perfect audio-visual feast.
The grand opening served as a “dialogue” between The Oval and the new generation about art and life, expressing Dowell’s hope to imbue new commercial spaces with fresh, novel and positive artistic inspiration, and to enhance the urban cultural atmosphere in a form that resonates well with the mass.
In addition, a series of interactive activities also attracted a large crowd of consumers on the opening day. For example, VOX indie musicians and band created a place for young music lovers to relax and release; top skaters from SAVAGE&VANS gave exciting extreme performances at the graffiti skate park; and the first independent Chongqing Coffee Fair not only brought dozens of popular independent coffee brands and trendy coffee shops together, but also invited an independent illustrator named “Broken Skin Egg” onto the scene. Combined, they presented a fun experience for the guests in both taste and visual way.
Unique DNA to Create Urban Art Space, Awakening the Mountain City’s Aesthetics
Applying curator’s thinking and leveraging its art resources, The Oval aims to build itself into an urban aesthetic “container”, providing customers with a cultural and artistic adventure while they shop. The land it sits on was originally a sparsely populated city park and abandoned garage. Inspired by Chongqing’s “mountain city” characteristic, Dowell adapted to the special features of the land, and designed a valley-like shape for The Oval project, where consumers can enjoy an intriguing “downward” exploration in an open block neighborhood. The design converges nature and city life, realizing the goal of city renewal.
The opening of The Oval – blending retail and commerce with artist collaboration, art display and other cultural activities – will usher Chongqing into further artistic, cultural experiment and exploration, eventually influence on the lifestyle of the entire city.
With respect to space design, The Oval fully leveraged its rich artist connection and partnered with over 20 domestic and foreign renowned artists to create art spaces with varied themes. Walking into “the oval space” decorated with heavy-tech art installations, visitors will get a chance to sneak peek into the future and explore the mysteries of the future and the real world.
Reconfigure Urban Lifestyle with Diverse Business Formats and Activities
Furthermore, The Oval links multiple spaces in an entertaining way to enhance the quality of life for the residents in the region: an outdoor 40,000-square-meter panoramic garden with built-in runway and walkway, providing a daily dose of nature and health for the locals; the urban graffiti skate park will become the best rendezvous for extreme sports lovers to gather and social. In addition, The Oval also strives to fulfill corporate social responsibility by introducing its own IP children’s park to the urban public space for the first time, so that children of all ages can create joyful memories and make amazing dreams together.
The Oval has introduced multiple forms of retail and commerce into the space. Among them is OR, a multi-dimensional fashion complex, that will incubate various art formats and solutions with commercial value, eventually build an “art-plus-commerce” ecosystem.
In addition, you will not only find the world-renowned coffee brand Tim Hortons’s first shop in North Chongqing here, but will also be blown away by some top-notch sports outlets — Kylin Shooting Club, the best equipped and largest shooting club in Asia will open its Southwest China flagship store here, the indoor extreme sports playground JUMP 360, Chenxing Bowling Alley, Yuren Swimming Club, etc. The Oval also gathers esteemed sports brands such as MLB, NIKE and XXXTRENTA.
Besides, don’t forget the food. Restaurants with internet fame such as The Master Pao, Songdu Barbecue and so forth, which will be waiting to stimulate your appetite. Last but not the least, the popular reading club “Fandeng” will have a bookstore in the space to enrich the social and cultural experience further.
Propel Urban Development with a Diversified Approach
The Oval is exploring a more diversified approach in the context of an increasingly competitive commercial real estate market. Considered an exemplar case of Chongqing’s ongoing urban renewal initiative, The Oval is poised to become a magnet where urban youths as well as artists can enjoy life while creating new ideas and experiences together. By doing so, The Oval is pushing the boundaries of what future commercial space could possibly be like.
Thanks to its innate art background and cultural positioning, The Oval has demonstrated Dowell’s differentiated strategy toward the commercial real estate industry. As the core business of Dowell Group under the listed A-share Dima Co., Dowell Commercial Real Estate will continue to expand its advantage and create more multi-dimensional commercial spaces that blend art with commerce; and to achieve strong business growth through continuous innovation, brand building and product enrichment.
In the coming future, Dowell Commercial Real Estate will integrate various forms of commerce to deploy in scale. It aims to become the driving force of urban economic, art and cultural development, bringing a constant flow of cultural creativity and commercial vitality into different cities, and to eventually extend the expectation and imagination of the general public toward a better life.