Featuring a concentric void spanning six floors with wood-clad escalators crisscrossing throughout, OMA’s first quadrant of the masterplan for the Kaufhaus Des Westens (KaDeWe) is now complete.
Since its inception in 1907, KaDeWe has set the standard in Europe for department store customer service. In addition, its exceptional 90,000 square meter size distinguishes it as the largest building of its kind on the continent. The OMA-led renovation and masterplan project for KaDeWe seeks out an alternative to the conventional retail model, one that redefines connections between store, customer and the built environment.
A project ongoing since 2016, the project sees the transformation of the existing structure into four quadrants that break the overall mass into more navigable sectors.
Each quadrant is organized around a central void, that serves both as vertical circulation space and atrium. The voids are individually developed in their own unique way, resulting in four very different modes of organization and four very different spatial experiences that cater to different audiences.
A cross-shaped organizational system reinforces the quadrants on each floor, regulating the use of space and circulation. In this way, the building operates as infrastructure and allows for different conditions and uses.
The journey through one of the voids terminates in a new vaulted rooftop glass volume that extends from the building while an open-air courtyard between the new glass volume and the existing building is available to host outdoor programmes including the shopping brand’s well-known food laboratories.