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Kaufhaus Tyrol, Innsbruck, Austria

Tuesday 28 Jul 2009

Chipperfield department store tops off

Kaufhaus Tyrol by David Chipperfield Architects in Innsbruck, Austria
Kaufhaus Tyrol by David Chipperfield Architects in Innsbruck, Austria Kaufhaus Tyrol by David Chipperfield Architects in Innsbruck, Austria Kaufhaus Tyrol by David Chipperfield Architects in Innsbruck, Austria Kaufhaus Tyrol by David Chipperfield Architects in Innsbruck, Austria
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No. of Comments: 5

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14/02/11 Mario Santos, Milan
Sorry guys. Perfectly integrated and wonderfully designed. You need to go there and see. Masterpiece.
06/08/09 CS, Vancouver
I am sorry that so few people are still able to get past the 19th century, and I think Simon's statement about paying "little regard to its surroundings" could just as easily be made about the 'historical fabric' around it. Take away the mountains and it could be Salzburg, Vienna, Paris, or really any 19th century European city. I also have the feeling that your sentiments against 'modernist' architecture (as you claim it to be, though I would disagree) would have been the same as those voiced by critics against baroque architecture at the end of the renaissance, or against neo-gothic at the end of the baroque period. We are always afraid of going against the grain but if we are to be modern (in the true sense of the word, which in fact means 'of our time') then we must not treat the past with such reverence that it threatens to choke out the creativity of our own time. I personally feel the building does one thing that none of the others on this street do, it starts to create space within the flat facade by shifting it ever so slightly, in so doing it also begins to create different views down the street as the windows are now no longer perpendicular to the street itself, it breaks down the facade in a way that when viewed obliquely now relates itself to the craggy mountains much more insistently than any of the historical structures do, and all of that is done within a grid which reigns it all into the regular rhythm of the surrounding buildings. All in all I think it is a great accomplishment to create something which references noble ideas of space making, social relevance, and physical and cultural context in a business (commercial retail) which is so much about fashion, fad and passing fancy.
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04/08/09 Simon, Stansted
When one hears the name Chipperfield one either thinks of a circus or classical architecture. This is neither but has perhaps echoes of the circus maximus. But it is not good architecture, it pays little regard to its surroundings and has no pleasing qualities whatsoever. So sad to allow this boring, repetitive mundanity to clash with so much quality and craft.
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04/08/09 LBJ, San Antonio
Agree with Simon. Used to live in Innsbruck and am very familiar with this street. Nothing about this building integrates well with this wonderful mountain town. I understand the challenge - building a modern building in a historic city with unique, old, colorful, ornate buildings. Building a modern building in a prominent location in any historical locale cannot be easily done without offending people. Its modernity is not the issue though. This building's material choice provides no warmth, and there is absolutely no color. This is indeed a very bold-gesture - placing a pitifully stark, boring, transparent, block-ish building in a beautiful old town.
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04/08/09 JTV, Atlanta, GA-USA
As a fellow architect, I sometimes wonder if we play the "modernist" card just to be controversial and get noticed. The same came be said for a good poke in the eye.
Perhaps the site was just too beautiful to resist.

Innsbruck one step closer to completion of new retail landmark 

With an expected 9 months left of construction David Chipperfield Architects had reason to celebrate as their design for Kaufhaus Tyrol department store in Innsbruck topped off on Friday (24 July).

The new building covers the site of the former Kaufhaus Tyrol along Maria-Theresien-Strasse. The neighbouring existing building, the former ‘Schindlerhaus’, will provide space for offices and meeting rooms and, after its restoration, for the Schindler Café.

The facade of the Kaufhaus reflects the irregular structure of the Maria-Theresien-Strasse. Facade pillars form the main tectonic characteristic of the building. Room-height window apertures cover all storeys and act as mediators between the new Kaufhaus Tyrol and the historic environment.

The building's respectfully plain design is made interesting by the illusion of a gently tapering tip created by a recessed top floor, and bold frontage columnised by generous gridded windows. Completion is planned for the beginning of March 2010.

Key Facts

Status Topped off
Value 0(m€)
David Chipperfield Architects

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