Hagemeyer Minden

New reconstruction and revitalization of a fashion house, turning it into a department store with a shopping-mall character — Scharn 9-17, 32432 Minden, Germany — 20,000 m² — 2009 — Hermann Hagemeyer GmbH & Co. KG

A house that draws you in

With its brand-new building and the remodelling of its traditional home into a mall-like department store, Hagemeyer has become a real attraction; a place to stroll, chat and shop. The new, 8,000-square metre building, with its additional sales floors, connects seamlessly with the existing complex of buildings (12,000 square meters), which was freed from the deadweight of 1950s style and given a boost through renovation. The broad, transparent façade along the pedestrian zone makes for a strong visual link between outside and inside. The obvious post and beam construction on the ground floor as well as the glass joints in the entryways are reminiscent of the city's low-rise constructions. The designers, inspired by the architectural style of historic Minden, came up with an independent, modern interpretation. The result is a department store that blends naturally into its historic surroundings, with its mix of Gothic, Renaissance and modern architecture.

The department store occupies the centre of a north-south axis. Arriving through one of the portal-like entrances located around the building, visitors follow broad pathways directly to the prominently placed boulevard. To ensure easy orientation, each floor of the shopping boulevard has the same basic design. Only the opposite ends of the department store stand out from one another. These two areas are reserved for special product displays or themed events. The focal point on the mall's axis corresponds with an open space where the intermediate ceilings are recessed all the way up to the glass-panelled roof on the third level. The effect: Natural light floods the space; attractive perspectives are opened up diagonally through all levels; and orientation becomes easy because visitors can focus on a recognizable point.

Worlds of style

Fashion and accessories are divided among style collections over some 20,000 square metres. Every brand gets the space that fits its collection philosophy. blocher partners used an overarching design theme to unite the independent labels, ensuring a consistent aesthetic.

The cleverly designed pathway does not separate the style collections but rather opens them to each other. Starting from the department store as the primary area, customers are drawn directly into the individual brand worlds, and thus prompted to explore. Effective illumination draws the eye to the sales floor; strategic lighting brings objects to the fore and arouses the emotions. Playful installations and discreet room dividers of glass, chain and textile curtains, movable slats and tree trunks, result in a clever design of a space in which each brand can strut its stuff without overwhelming its neighbor.

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