Location: Dusseldorf, Germany
Date: 2012
Client: Metro Properties
Status: Concept Design
Size: 21,000 m2, 6,000 m2 of roof extension
Credits: ACME Team (Nicholas Channon, Stefano Dal Piva, Stephen Harker, Lizy Huyghe, Friedrich Ludewig, Frederic Meurisse, Heidrun Schuhmann)
Situated on Düsseldorf’s most exclusive shopping boulevard, the original department store was built by Joseph Maria Olbrich, one of the foremost architects of the Art Nouveau period in Austria and Germany. Completed in 1909, the store was representative of the opulence of department stores at the time, showcasing bespoke furniture and fittings. Grouped around three internal courtyards, enfilades of sales departments took the customer on a journey through areas of different identities, including a carpet salon and an art gallery. The store was almost entirely destroyed during the war, and – with the exception of the façade – hardly any of the original features remain today. An extension to the existing building was added to include car parking at high-level during the 1980s.

Retail in the 21st century needs to recapture some of the excitement of unique spaces and experiences in order to compete with the lure of online shopping. The proposed design of the store strips out some of the recent changes to recreate larger voids, including a central atrium of dimensions to match the original. Departing from large, never-ending floor plates, we have designed the retail landscape as a sequence of rooms with different identities, creating smaller and more intimate experiences in the building. 

A roof extension with restaurant and terraces will allow daylight to permeate the atrium again and will invite the public to go to the upper levels, offering views across the city centre and down to the Rhine.