Sporthaus Schuster Munich

New construction/reconstruction of a sports store — Rosenstraße 3-5, 80331 Munich, Germany — 5,000 m² — 2006 — Schuster GmbH

Make one out of three

The innovation of the imposing façade becomes palpable even as one approaches the street: The new Schuster building, built in 2007 with 5,000 square metres of usable floor space, looks to the future while at the same time communicating the authenticity and extraordinary competence of a company that is an institution in the Munich retail trade. The seven sales storeys have been consciously designed as worlds to be experienced. Since 1996, blocher partners has been collaborating with Schuster. Its accomplishments include the new construction, reconstruction and expansion of the sporting good store in 2018.

The construction was preceded by seven months of demolition, for the sales areas of the traditional company had grown over the course of the preceding decade to more than 4,000 square mtres, spread across a number of buildings. The result was a structure of box-like areas, storeys of different heights, countless staircases and inefficient ancillary space.

The basic structure consists of reinforced concrete with some semi-finished elements. On top of that came a glass façade running concave along the firewall facing Rosenstraße 6. Nonetheless, the new building retains the independence of the various previous buildings: A careful placement of supports, emphasised by coloured, fibre reinforced concrete, makes the separate lots visible. At the same time, a horizontal element at the level of the ceilings of each storey constitutes an inter-building gesture that unites the complex. This round, frame-shaped element of bronzed brass is a modern interpretation of the bronze so often seen in Munich's old town – a pithy provider of identity that ensures the recognisability of the sports store.

The recessed fifth storey with a light shed roof promotes the integration of the building into its urban surroundings. The pitch and kerb roof is copper coloured. The standard ridge and eaves heights are not exceeded. The technological infrastructure is installed under the roof. The new main entryway on Rosenstraße 5 is accentuated by the close field in the first storey of bronzed brass.

Tectonic Layers

The layout of the interior rooms is Spartan and the experience of the space authentic, with fair-faced concrete and polished screed floors. In the middle of the central space is a suspended customer staircase of steel – more than 25 metres high – which appears to be floating, and a 22-metres-wide and 25-metres-high abstractly designed climbing wall. Structured in tectonic layers, the mountain incorporates all the elements that make Munich's urbanity what it is: the city, the lakes and the mountains.

That ranges from waves through asphalt, lawns and wild grasses, to woods, scree and boulders – from the world of water sports and fitness, all the way to climbing and Alpine sports. Visual connections between the inside and outside reinforce this atmosphere: From some points you can see the Alter Peter – St. Peter's, Munich's oldest church – from others, the Alps.

In designing the various storeys, the designers have taken up each particular material from the respective tectonic layers, so that each sphere of merchandise has its own identity, while at the same time the unity of the Schuster umbrella brand is created. Three red elevators run through the glass shell at the inner courtyard, reminiscent of mountain cable cars. They feature media displays, with the themes of each of the spheres. The cabin blocks, too, blend into the spheres – some of log cabin-type tree trunks, some of Structuran glass that looks like glacier ice. A reading room done in Swiss pine on the fourth storey invites customers to take a rest and leaf through books. An interactive area in the floor covering is activated when one steps onto it, giving the impression of actually being in water.

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