All images courtesy of OMA
It has been announced that international firm OMA will be charged with renovating the historic and famous Kaufhaus Des Westens (KaDeWe) department store in Berlin. Since its opening in 1907, KaDeWe has established itself as the biggest department store in continental europe- defined by its diverse retail opportunities and sophisticated crafts.
For its transformation, the Dutch firm – led by architect Rem Koolhass – proposes for the 90,000 sqm building to be divided into four ‘quadrants'; each representing a different architectural, commercial quality and targeted at different audiences. This specific strategy will result in four unique department stores housed under one single roof, ‘fragmenting the original mass into smaller, easily accessible and navigable components – similar to distinct urban sectors embedded into a unifying city fabric’. Each sector will be accessed by a different street entrance, while following a cross-shaped organisation.
Throughout the nine levels, the voids transform in size and extension, avoiding any repetition and making every floor unique. Currently the store is topped by a vaulted rooftop restaurant, the scheme will see a compact glass volume being integrated and extended organically from the façade with views across Berlin. The particular configuration of the new rooftop leaves an open air courtyard between the new architectural insert and the rest of the building.