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Westside Shopping and Leisure Centre, Bern, Switzerland

Tuesday 09 Sep 2008

Libeskind's shopping spree

Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 5

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We were really impressed by Liebeskind's Jewish Museum in Berlin which with it's painful juxaposition of incongruous shapes describes the horrendous history of pogroms and holocaust. When he transfers the same aesthetic to a shopping centre (sic) the once powerful symbolism as well as the respect for the architect is sadly broken.
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17/09/08 KeesW, Hobart
Modern architecture is really pre-occupied with form! Libeskind's conceptual scribbled plan makes no sense at all, which gives it current architectural credibility. Howevers, novel forms will always win the day - especially for clients for whom image is more important than function.
16/09/08 O2, baltimore
1.) Someone forgot to tell Mr. Libeskind that the shopping mall is dead.

2.) "By configuring both the external and internal spaces in an innovative and efficient manner..." There is nothing efficient about a Libeskind space, and for the most part, nothing innovative, either.

3.) 'Egotecture' Look, I invented a completely new word to express my cutting edge creativity. Can I have 1 million dollars for my poo?
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16/09/08 matti kones, israel
i wonder how can still being designed projects like this,capital,energy and materials wasteful,while,slowly but steadily, architecture turns "green" in almost all developed world...
16/09/08 Michael Mindlin, St Louis
Your article on Libeskind's shopping centre is a little 'late'. Besides the obvious 'branding' by the architect in which his unique aesthetic is considered 'right' for every city and every culture - the first shopping centre of the 21st Century is built: there's no 'mall' there: it is mixed use, it is already highly successful and is a 'destination experience' where art and architecture are the central experience. But it's also an aesthetic expression driven by creative solutions to tough economic and societal issues that transcend a single personal point of view. And, its success is already proven with the top industry design awards and the passionate patronage of the community it serves. Perhaps your readers will appreciate a bit of the future now. Great publication... keep up the good work.
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Daniel Libeskind designed shopping centre to open in October 

People will no longer stand for drab shopping malls according to Daniel Libeskind, in his words: "At the beginning of the 21st century there is a need to address contemporary social needs and desires and an emerging economic potential in order to create a new generation of shopping centers and leisure facilities."

Westside Shopping and Leisure Centre is the answer to a need to integrate functionality with the modern needs of architectural character and sustainability by “fusing together the dimensions of commerce, culture and leisure."

Comprised of 141, 500 sq m of built area the Centre, due to open on 8 October, includes 23,500 sq m of shops, a Wellness Center, a Multiplex cinema with 11 auditoriums, a hotel and senior residency comprising of 95 apartments and 20 caring homes.

The building design integrates the landscape and the different directions of the site while providing a unique look to the external areas. Extensive window cuts in varying designs open up the facade. This has the effect of creating either a panoramic window for the food court and wellness area or a web of natural light for the circulation area. Furthermore, the views allow you to see the highway, gateway to the living area, the railway tracks and the widespread landscape to the south. This is a unique outside element of Westside Brünnen. During the day the partly dark tanned window cuts contrast with the light wood facade. At night they are illuminated so that the parts of the structure disappear in the darkness, similar to a picture puzzle, so that from the outside the cuts are recognized as lines.

"Architecture is no longer considered a footnote, but is a fundamental means of engaging and extending the experience of the visitor toward new dynamic leisure horizons. In this way, the entire shopping mall becomes a stage – a veritable vitrine - for public performance,” says Libeskind.

“By configuring both the external and internal spaces in an innovative and efficient manner, the complex provides synthetic entertainment for a wide public. It is a place of celebration, enjoyment and consumption in which people can spend many hours in a variety of atmospheres and activities from shopping to dining, swimming to living all within a lively and magical environment. By providing access to audiences of all ages and sectors of society, the new center becomes a multi-layered invitation to all."

Key Facts

Status Nearing completion
Value 0(m€)
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Studio Daniel Libeskind

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