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Breuninger, Dusseldorf

Steeped in history and close to the heart of retailers and shopfitters worldwide, Düsseldorf has now received the retail project of the century. Just as Westfield and the Bullring launched state of the art shopping centres to much acclaim in their respective UK cities, Kö-Bogen now leads the way in this affluent German city.

Kö-Bogen fulfils our ever increasing passion for incredible, architecturally led retail and leisure complexes. Acclaimed architect, Daniel Liebskind has designed Düsseldorf a cutting edge building that binds the prestigious city centre shopping streets of Königsallee and Schadowstrasse to the Hofgarten (the main city centre park). Kö-Bogen brings fashion conscious Germans a wealth of luxury brands within a very green space.

Glass has been mostly used within the construction of this iconic building to reflect the historic facades surrounding it, fusing the old with the new and to help control the interior temperature, reducing its running costs. A green roof top walkway was added to bring the park into the city centre encouraging residents to use the development as a pathway and to reduce rainwater run-off to further reduce heating and cooling costs.

Where better than to open your first flagship in northern Germany? Breuninger, synonymous with quality and high fashion, has secured the anchor site of this new retail phenomenon. This 15,000 square metre store follows the wave of the building and is spread over five floors. As expected this is no ordinary store. The well established German department store has designed an innovative store interior to equal its incredible façade.

As you enter on ground level you are immediately drawn to the enormous circular columns that follow the curve of the building and are fashioned as huge, gilt palm trees. These enormous eye catching pillars allow your eye to roam freely around the premium beauty and accessories department. The feature columns continue throughout the store. From simple, smooth white pillars in mens and womens formalwear that complements these pared down departments, to funky, mirrored columns where strip lighting branches out on the ceiling to create the palm fronds for mens and ladies fashion.

Shopfittings, shelving and other display equipment follow suit. Beauty and accessories is opulent with predominantly black and gold perimeter units together with marble topped, mirrored display tables. In mens formalwear wall and freestanding units are mostly dark wood and black with angular, metal hanging rails, whereas mens casual and fashionwear is more crude and raw (yet still well finished). The womenswear departments are similarly designed with a softer, lighter feel - white display tables and shelving with gently curved hanging rails breathe a sophisticated and refined air to this vast department.

From ground floor to fifth floor; space, light, glamour, shining shopfittings and reflective surfaces abound. This is an extremely well thought out interior with some highly contemporary visual merchandising set amidst sleek retail display equipment. As you would expect of a store of this calibre, attention to detail and space has been given to the central atrium housing the bank of glass escalators. This is a state of the art affair, nestled at the heart of the store. The escalators crisscross their way from bottom to top, with space to the sides where a series of gold display cages hang down from the ceiling.

This conceptually driven boutique department store designed for Breuninger by London’s HMKM will become a beacon for retail display and luxury shopping in Düsseldorf. It’s a definite must see.

Images courtesy of Uwe Spoering.

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