Visiting this building was quite an experience. Not only is its shape and facade a glamorous sight from the outside, being inside makes me want to go to department stores again. It is refreshing to see a store filled with so much natural light that there is no need anymore to ask a sales attendant to escort me outside to check for a sweater’s true color.
While the main building consists of a locally common concrete structure, the facade is made up of wooden ribs that in turn support the glazing. The most interesting feature is the modular (and apparently cast) spacer system between the ribs, which also clamps the diagonal cables. The facade is supported by a central steel spine on the top floor and the number of wood lams reduces towards the ground floor.
Location: Schildergasse, Cologne, Germany
Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Engineer: Knippers & Helbig; Façade: Büro Mosbacher
Fabricator: Hochtief Construction