At over 4 million square feet, Manila's new mega-mall is part commercial palace and social square.
The Mall of Asia, the third largest mall in world (and the largest in the Philipines) welcomed its first customers last May.
"This is a structure that stares down at you; the rectangular expanse is covered in gleaming industrial white, and undulating columns, wings and buttresses break the visual monotony. One side of the Mall faces a massive parking lot, while the other side faces the water. On good days, people stroll on the boulevard, which is dotted by slender trees. They sit on the benches, their backs to the Mall, and their faces to the sea. At night, families flock to the courtyard where clowns and men on stilts regale the children with magic tricks."