Location: Kassel, Germany
Date: 2013-2014
Client: Metro Properties
Status: Detailed design
Size: 2,000 m2 fa├žade

ACME (Delphine Körner, Friedrich Ludewig, Borja Madrazo Aguirre, Isabel de la Mora, Laura Patrizi, Jan Saggau, Heidrun Schuhmann)


Kassel is known for its palaces, parks and the Documenta; the exhibition of Modern art, which takes place every five years. During the Second World War the city was heavily bombed and is now dominated by 1950’s structures.
The Galeria Kaufhof department store is located centrally on the main corner of Friedrichplatz, diagonally opposite the Fridericianum where Documenta exhibitions take place. The 1950s Kaufhof building was greatly extended and modified over the years, and its 1970s glass façade has been extensive blocked from the inside to keep the daylight out and allowing for shelving.
We were asked to design a new façade with maximum opacity and minimum weight. As the department store will allow for no views into the building, we explored how to create a facade that has its own 3-dimensionality and animation. Working with Bridget Riley’s work that was exhibited at previous Documentas, we designed a two layered stone and glass skin that changes in rhythm along all sides to create building-sized piece of op-art.