Väla Centrum is a shopping mall located in southern Sweden just outside of Helsingborg. Been planing on writing about it for a long time now but have not been able to find anything useful – until now. This is the mall I grew up with. Many many Friday evenings and Saturdays were spent here when I traveled there going shopping with my family as a kid back in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Väla Centrum was built in 1974 and was at its opening the largest shopping center in southern Sweden with 20 stores, two large anchor stores (Wessels and Obs!), a restaurant and a café. The photos were found on a postcard dating back the late 1970s. Pay attention to the cool interior details and color scheme, not forgetting the artsy bird cage and “fountain” under it.
This mall truly took its inspiration from the American malls that was built in the 50s and 60s. I have never seen any other mall in Sweden which have or have had a bird cage. I actually remembering seeing Canaries in it too until the late 1980s when they for one reason or another decided to remove them (probably it was deemed too small). The bird sculpture is named Fågeln (The bird) and was created by artist Bertil Valliens. It still stands there today, but at another location (see bottom of the post for a photograph).
However, a large addition was added in 1997 making the mall almost unrecognizable and only years later they decided to remove the anchor stores and convert the space into store space for smaller shops. The only things that remind us now of its past are the groovy orange light fixtures seen below, although now in a different color scheme and with other lamps – and the bird cage.
On the outside you can still see the brown 1970s brick walls, although now mostly covered with signs and added glass walls. There are rumors that they are going to extend the mall with another 41.000 square meters of new store space, removing the old courtyard with its fountains and thus making the mall fully unrecognizable. If you have any memories or comments about this mall, let them be heard in the comments section please.