Envisioned as a gateway to the eastern city, the upcoming Kaiserplatz Galerie is set to redefine the shopping experience in Aachen. The building comprises a broad variety of commercial, retail and leisure facilities assimilated into a new hub, regarded as a significant pilot project for Urban and Regional Development.
Located on the border, adjacent to The Netherlands and Belgium, Aachen comprises a catchment area of approximately 1.2 million inhabitants. Adalbertstrasse lies in the heart of Aachen’s retail district, where the new building will provide a premium shopping and leisure venue in the spectacular urban location. Having been an important trade center since the Middle Ages and a significant commercial street in the early twentieth century, Adalbertstrasse has an extensive heritage; however, its post-war constructions had become unsuitable for the contemporary retail requirements. The site, which in recent years was shaped by war ruins and under-used open spaces, will be revived by this new mall.
The outstanding location of Kaiserplatz Galerie enables ideal connectivity through the pedestrian, the road and the public transport network. The mall constitutes direct entrances from Kaiserplatz and Adalbertstrasse. It has direct access to the main roads and the proximate bus stop is served by more than 20 bus routes. It comprises more than 130 shops, an open layout food court and 600 parking spaces. Being directly connected to the cultural axis between Suermondt Ludwig Museum in Wilhelmstrasse on the east and Aachen Cathedral (a Unesco World Heritage Site) and Town Hall at the western end, the new building will complement the vibrant scene, so that visitors and tourists can enjoy an extensive range of cultural and shopping activities within walking distances.
Following the recommendations of the ‘Aachen city concept’ from 2002, the three-story building echoes the scale of its historic surroundings while establishing a distinct identity by its contemporary form and materiality. It consists of a two-part structure that surrounds a central passage. Its sectional design exploits the significant height difference between Adalbertstrasse and Noppiusstrasse. The façade consists of a curved glass shell that offers characteristic openness and transparency. The curved form also lends a spacious experience inside, with impressive views of the historic buildings in the surroundings. The double heighted facades of the first floor and grand views from the second floor create a unique sense of space. The generous atriums offer visual connectivity across all the levels. Inspired from historical glass passages, the entire mall is covered by a glass roof. Daylight interspersed through all levels lets visitors experience the bright and convivial architecture.
With the construction of Kaiserplatz Galerie, Adalbertstraße will regain the prominence it held for more than 100 years, continuing to be a cornerstone for retail in Aachen. In a synergic relationship with the city, Kaiserplatz Galerie sets a new success model of vibrant architecture and urban integration.