Designs for a dynamic new shopping centre in Switzerland
The Swiss architectural office Labate Architekten AG has designed a small sales building in Aarberg, Switzerland for the international developer k-werkstatt. The site is situated between the town centre of Aarberg and the entrance on to the motor highway which connects the cities of Biel and Bern.
The supermarket, with a 500 m2 shopping area on the ground floor, is designed to be built next to a sales building of a retail chain to make them both a functional and urban ensemble. It is placed in line with the neighbouring market and makes a reference to its roof pitch. Nevertheless, the new building has a unique character and speaks its individual language. The compact form turns it into a precious and sculptural object. A dynamic force is created by the inclined facades that are made of red polycarbonate sheathing. This shape derives from the structure, which is an alignment of wooden frames whose cantilevering rafter ends are tied down by tension members to be reconnected to the column feet.
A Vierendeel-girder spans in the longitudinal direction of the building to carry a café gallery floating above the shopping area. A two level high glass façade in light offers great views onto the hustle of traffic and people. Social rooms and toilets will also be located here.
On the northwest and northeast side of the building we placed parking lots made out of grass pavers and spaces for bicycles. The delivery takes place on the southeast side facing the neighbor building. The compact and simple form is maintained on all sides.
The entrance and exit for the clients is cut into the building and marked by a metal frame. A wall-integrated lighting system behind translucent polycarbonate panels and inside a strip of display windows gives light to the entrance. In front of the cash registers horizontal window strips are placed to create a pleasant work environment.
The design of the street furniture like stands for bicycles and shopping carts makes reference to the building shape to create a coherent design concept for inside and outside. The new dynamic building will act as a landmark and attract business in the area.