The auspicious name “Mall of Switzerland” comes with a significant promise, and incites expectation. The central idea for the centre came from the liveliness and diversity of the 26 cantons that make up Switzerland: diversity, real “Swissness” and “sophisticated understatement”. With plenty of shopping centre experience, the retail designers at Schwitzke developed a design language and in-store communication that tackled and interpreted Swiss values such as tradition and innovation.
The logo for the Mall of Switzerland was based on the Swiss cross, creating a pattern reminiscent of fashion brands. Used across a wide area, it captures the essence of the Swiss red, making it very memorable.
The whole interior architecture reflects the country’s diversity and abundance of shapes, and plays with Swiss values, reinterpreted in an authentic and modern way. Original materials like oak and elm, terrazzo, asphalt and quartz create a link to the country’s nature, and special importance was placed on finding Swiss materials. Traditional Swiss graphic elements, taken from the 26 cantonal flags, can be found in modern wall patterns among other places. Swiss landscapes are used in collages and as wall elements. To put it simply: the design concept transports the atmosphere and the lifestyle of Switzerland and realises the term “Swissness” as equivalent to high quality and pioneering innovation with a touch of “sophisticated understatement”. The result is a centre that leaves little to be desired.
Jumping facades - unique in the whole of Switzerland
The overriding theme of diversity is also reflected in the design of the mall, like in the jumping facades concept. This creates the impression inside the mall of a city centre, where the buildings have sprung up naturally. This principle creates a sense of generosity and space, which guarantees the tenant plenty of room for their own design and the possibility to show off their brand and products in the open facades or freestanding showcases. In the curved streets of the mall, the brand is given the chance to create an impression from afar with side views and logos, which increase attention. Visitors enjoy an individual shopping experience, as the border between mall and store is blended as much as possible. A unique position in the landscape of the Swiss Mall!
Well considered architecture
The largest Swiss architecture and general planning office, Burckhardt+Partner AG, was responsible for the architecture and project conception of the Mall of Switzerland.
The Mall of Switzerland is made up of the mall, leisure and parking buildings. From a town planning perspective, the buildings fit in with the large-scale character of the surrounding industrial area, which spans along the railway line of the Rontal Valley. The settlement and volumetry of the individual buildings were based on the approved design plan from 2007.
By zoning the individual volumes on the ground and top floors, the large-scale buildings were given adequate space. The facade of the mall’s top floor references Munich’s Allianz Area, as it is made from a translucent ETFE foil. The light foil dematerialises the large volume, reflecting various parts of the surrounding area. Depending on light and the time of day, the facade is also illuminated, giving the building a lively, eye-catching appearance. The facade develops into a large-scale abstraction that signifies the main entrance.
The parking building retains an industrial appearance. Intertwined metal elements let the building express its different floors, and facilitate natural ventilation. The zinc-plated metal elements will take on a natural patina over time, as they settle into their environment.
The leisure building clearly expresses its purposes on the facade. The cinema, which spans all upper floors, is given a theatrical treatment with fibre cement plates. The ground floor units are predominantly glazed for external effect, and open onto the central square, “Ebisquare”, a meeting place for young and old that’s ideal for relaxing. Conceptually, each use is given its own volume here, whereby the individual volumes are arranged one after another and atop one another.
In the inside of the mall, two central squares - the “hearts” - are connected by a circular path. This allows visitors to travel from one square to another without having to walk the same way twice. Large, offset atria are core elements of the design, and visually create exciting views between the floors and shops.