Karstadt Limbecker Platz
Textile metaphor: The facade of the 70 000m² shopping centre in the northwest of Essen’s inner city zone takes up the idea of clothing. Like a hem, the glistening silver skin of white-coated aluminium panels projects over the curtain wall of the new building. Following the central idea of an evening gown, round mirrors of partially vapour-deposited aluminium are recessed into the outer skin.
Over the course of the day these ornamental patterns gain their own dynamic from light reflections and movements. At night they shimmer like sequins sewn on the gown fabric. Attached to the back of the mirror are different coloured LEDs that create the desired effects with the help of a lighting control system. The curtain of aluminium elements placed over the transparent, glazed base lends the building a lightness of appearance. The sequins are denser at the Limbecker and Berliner Platz entrances, here the aluminium facade curves forward and loses its horizontal line. Variation and surface structure are crucial to achieve a high degree of abstraction for the facade in which material and tectonics have been intentionally reduced. The building’s glazed ground floor sets out a clear rhythm for shop windows and display cases.