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Center West Graz
Client: Center West Graz GmbH & Co KG
Location: Graz 2012 - 2013
Center West Graz - Extension and Refurbishment

This centre is located on the edge of the town of Graz on the Verteilerkreis Webling and at the centre of an agglomeration comprising retail space and commercial properties. Over the last 25 years, three main building structures have been built around a central carpark during several stages of expansion. An overall refurbishment and expansion of approx. 2,000 m2 of space seemed beneficial given the heterogeneous and arbitrary composition of the appearance, the ageing interior, the shortcomings in the logistics and organisation process and the change of ownership.

Concept
In concept terms, the previously separate, repeatedly opened up yet non-coherent main building and ‘Haus Eybl’ have been linked together with a new annex in-front and combined to form a single unit - a central entrance with a direct connection to the underground garage, a shared terrace on the first floor with a central food court and a uniform new façade which integrates the outdoor advertising.
The triangular ring mall, extended over two floors in the direction of the ‘Haus Eybl’, now comprises a new quality structure as well as indicating the direction of the separate Building 3 which is connected via a customer-friendly outdoor ‘promenade’.
The entrance area to Building 3 will subsequently be reorganised and the building will undergo a design relaunch with a new façade design.
In organisational and logistical terms, the alignment, lighting, clear layout and design in general have been optimised and the access, approach and customer car park revised.
The energy system throughout the property as a whole has been redeveloped, optimised and certified in accordance with DGNB.

Architecture
One key element is the façade with its new central entrance area. The design of the two-storey structure essentially incorporates the following different use requirements: An open entrance area and free space on the first floor terrace, a closed area for the rentable space behind and emphasised height of the buildings in the centre logo area. A curved design of the terrace on the first floor creates a spacious front area by the main entrance, protected from the weather and a covered passageway to the existing side entrance to the east. The required shop advertising box displays are blocked off and positioned within framed ‘passepartouts’. Stainless steel panels with hammered surfaces reflect the environment in a scattered way, just like a water surface. The appearance of the building develops differently according to the weather, ambient lighting and angle; highly reflective and sparkling by day and more reserved and absorbing in the evening, yet always supported by the elegance of the material.
The colours of the forecourt area incorporate the red of the eastern structure, which remains unchanged. This is included in the new design and the red of the new façade on the western structure (building 3) forms a consistent counterbalance to this. The façade includes perforated metal sheets, creating the appearance of a textile curtain due to the rhythmically varied edges. The use of hammered stainless steel panels in the canopy area of the largely glass-covered transparent entrance area also serve as a bracket to the main building.

The mall inside is updated with a uniform ceiling design, new flooring and a lighting concept brought in line with the latest technology. The flow of space is structured by specific openings to let in daylight as well as an outwards orientation – especially in the area of the food court and vertical connections. In terms of the shop facades, a uniform design concept has been developed and applied to the annex and this will then be successively applied to the structures.



PROJECT DATA

Partner in charge: Mathias Haas
Team: Christoph Schaumberger, Peer Huss, Paul Wallner, Thomas Fruhmann, Andreas Kastenhuber, Tanja Vucenovic

Site: 101.794m²
Footprint: 38.392m²
Tenant Area: 51.400m²
Number of Shops: 84
Parking: 1960
Start of planning: 03/2012
Start of construction: 01/2013
Completion: 10/2013

Renderings: Kaufmann & Partner
Photos: Dietmar Tollerian
Text: Mathias Haas