ArchDaily | Broadcasting Architecture Worldwidethe world's most visited architecture website

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos


Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.


Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Mixed Use Architecture
  4. Switzerland
  5. Studio Libeskind
  6. 2008
  7. Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind

Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind

  • 01:00 - 10 January, 2011
Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind
Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind, © Daniel Libeskind
© Daniel Libeskind

© Daniel Libeskind © Daniel Libeskind © Daniel Libeskind © Daniel Libeskind +21

From the architect. The Westside project, a new center for leisure and shopping in Bern-Brünnen, is an urban scale architecture project totaling 1.5 million sq. ft. In addition to the 55 shops, 10 restaurants and bars, hotel, multiplex cinema, fun bath with wellness center and housing, this mixed-use program radically reinvents the concept of shopping, entertainment and living. Since opening in October 2008, Westside has welcomed a record number of visitors - 1.5 million in the first three months - and currently sees about 15,000-25,000 visitors per day. The Westside project is a joint venture between ADL and Burckhardt & Partner, Bern with Rhomberg Bau AG/Strabag AG and was completed in October 2008.

Westside is one of a kind - a complex mixture of retail, residential and recreational facilities - an urban marketplace full of experiences that attracts visitors of all ages, interests and backgrounds. With its impressive location above the A1 highway, its direct connection to the tram and the BERNMOBIL transport network, Westside is a meeting place for the whole greater region of Bern. The development creates an exciting gateway into the city of Bern as it dramatically positions itself over the major highway and is integrated into the city with its own highway exit and train stop.

© Daniel Libeskind
© Daniel Libeskind

The Westside project creates a unique integration of architecture and landscape on a large, urban scale. The several-layer wooden facade connects the city area with the countryside, while emphasizing Westside as a major destination. Right-angled and transverse cut boxes constructed from steal concrete with a prop grid of 8,10 x 8,10 meters create sophisticated rooms and generate different external areas at Westside.

© Daniel Libeskind
© Daniel Libeskind

The concept of Westside was to create a public space with day and night facilities, a self-enclosed district offering endless amenities and services, almost like a city within a city. Westside is not only a landmark, but an urban organism which attracts the surrounding region, becoming a place of excursions, meetings and seminars, and leisurely activities. This mixed-use complex has all the conveniences and services of an independent town, yet at the same time is integrated into the city of Bern due to its location and convenient access to all modes of public transportation.

© Daniel Libeskind
© Daniel Libeskind

The mall is the spine of the public space, offering an array of shops and restaurants. Stores such as Swarovski, Esprit, H&M, L'Occitane en Provence, Wolford and Kinderland can be found at the Westside mall. The design includes lower and higher rooms, alleys and two plazas where the changing of daylight can be noticed through roof cuts. The two plazas each have individual identities. One plaza, reflecting the day, is oriented toward the landscape and opens up at the other end to the bath. The other plaza, reflecting the night, connects to the cinema and the hotel while providing atmosphere for night life and catering.

© Daniel Libeskind
© Daniel Libeskind

The building design integrates the landscape and the different directions of the site while providing a unique look to the external areas. Extensive window cuts in varying designs open up the facade. This has the effect of creating either a panoramic window for the food court and wellness area or a web of natural light for the circulation area. Furthermore, the views allow you to see the highway, gateway to the living area, the railway tracks and the widespread landscape to the south. This is a unique outside element of Westside Bern-Brünnen. During the day the partly dark tanned window cuts contrast with the light wood facade. At night they are illuminated so that the parts of the structure disappear in the darkness, similar to a picture puzzle, so that from the outside the cuts are recognized as lines.

© Daniel Libeskind
© Daniel Libeskind

The cubes forming Westside create openings to the many plazas as well as the bath. They are defined by crystalline form with angular sides which look like pieces of rock breaking through cube. The steel concrete construction is designed like a trapezoidal crystal where the structure creates openings, galleries and arcades, complete with shops and catering facilities. The interior is almost entirely plastered white. The grid structure of the crystal is covered with zinc plates at the points where it cuts the facade and the roof. Overall, the crystals and its plazas are designed like boxes; only the design of the glassine crystal of the bath is differing. The pattern of the mall’s alleys is never the same and it is not enclosed. Tentacled cuts create the spaces of the Mall at the facade and enhance the entrances and exits. The northern part of the mall leads to the forecourt of the train station, the senior residency, the hotel and the landscape.

© Daniel Libeskind
© Daniel Libeskind
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind" 10 Jan 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


Faustino Woolridge · October 30, 2013

Pretty good website thank you so much on your time in writing the posts for all of us to learn about.

referencement de site · May 01, 2012

Attractive component to content. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to claim that I get in fact loved account your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing for your augment or even I success you get entry to persistently fast.

Jasem Nadoum · March 14, 2012

Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind | ArchDaily via @archdaily

Eisjen Schaaf · December 18, 2011

Libeskind&#39s (architect nieuwe WTC in NY - Westside Bern bezocht Aanrader, maar niet op zaterdag!

El Chaure · October 29, 2011

Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind

El Chaure · October 29, 2011

Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind

Christine Tam · July 29, 2011

+ work by Renzo Piano: and David Libeskind:

Thatchai Kaewkalya · January 13, 2011

Thats a mall! @plethoraapp

JB Nadal · January 12, 2011

Libeskind's arrogance and his disdain towards other architects is way out of proportion to his extremely limited talent as a designer. For a guy who brags about being a "world renowned architect", he seems to rely on the same very weak and superficial idea for every single project. It's like he's a bad graphic designer struggling to make clumsy 3-dimensional spaces. Given Libeskind's enormous ego, the ridicule and derision is entirely deserved. He's become an irrelevant sideshow huckster with no clue about how buildings or cities come together. Westside is a good example of how much of a hack he really is.

bill · January 12, 2011

actually this is a pretty nice shopping center. it is surprisingly good.

Milan Kramolis · January 11, 2011

cool new #architecture /// Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind

Architektourist · January 11, 2011

Libeskind baut jetzt also auch Einkaufszentren? Oh je...

??? · January 11, 2011

?????Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind? #architecture

April · January 11, 2011

Yes. That red water slide is brilliant. A sophisticated architectural master-stroke and one of the finest urban gestures ever. I'm sure the Pritzker Prize Jurors will be suitably impressed. Ha Ha.

Walter · January 11, 2011

This project is intellectually barren. It is just the superficial application of cliched windows and random diagonals to meaningless forms. How is it possible that one firm can singlehandedly be responsible for so much of the world's worst and ugliest work? And why does the media continue to indulge this foolishness?

Giulia Agostinelli · January 11, 2011

Westside Bruennen Daniel Libeskind @archdaily

Matthias J.G · January 11, 2011

„Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind“ grandiose Architektur vom feinsten! Anseh&#39n!

Tom · January 11, 2011

Libeskind says he created an urban public space? Did he ever visit or experience Piazza Navona in Rome?, or any pleasant park in Paris, or joyful square in London? Those are great urban public spaces. Westside is a miserable collection of jarring and hostile forms that repel rather than entice meaningful social interaction. Libeskind must be some sort of people-hating savage to have created this abysmal, scaleless lump. Let's all stop calling this architecture. It's bad, thoughtless building and nothing more.

Marianne Giesemann · January 11, 2011

The Westside Project by Daniel Libeskind #architecture

miyakov · January 11, 2011

Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind

Nicholas Patten · January 11, 2011

Westside Bruennen.

Francesco Fondi · January 11, 2011

Swiss Design: BERN Westside Bruennen /

Carlos Mendizabal · January 11, 2011

#yoconfieso que me gusta la arq. de Daniel Libeskind,es lo que yo quiero hacer!

tho ngo · January 11, 2011

Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind | ArchDaily via @archdaily

Jade · January 11, 2011

It's just another piece of schlockitecture from Libeskind's seemingly interminable Incompetent Period. Cold, harsh, grey, lifeless and miserable buildings. It's like he didn't even bother to try.

watabetakahiro · January 11, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind #architecture

Fernando Garza · January 11, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind #architecture

Mr. Hosae · January 11, 2011

Das Westside schaffts auf

ELS · January 11, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind #architecture

Aqua Blue Pools · January 11, 2011

Wicked architecture.....

Holcim Awards US · January 11, 2011

I actually like the timber cladding as well as the somewhat simple windows (at least simple compared to his other projects). Otherwise, once again this project lacks context and is just a rehashing of his same style. It is a shame he won't try something new.

Scott @ Cube Studio · January 11, 2011

Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind | ArchDaily: Architects: Daniel Libeskind Location: Ber...

daqb design · January 11, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind #architecture

arquiRED Mexico · January 11, 2011

RT @ArchDaily: Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind #architecture

Barry Maguire · January 11, 2011

Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind via ArchDaily - © Daniel Libeskind Architects: Daniel ...

Engy · January 11, 2011

Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind via ArchDaily - © Daniel Libeskind Architects: Daniel ...

Erik Joya · January 11, 2011

Westside Bruennen / Daniel Libeskind: © Daniel Libeskind Architects: Daniel Libeskind…

archi · January 11, 2011

Well... I suppose the timber cladding is a refreshing change...

m · January 11, 2011

One of the best works of Libeskind last years!

K · January 10, 2011

Is he a real architect? My 9 month old could just as easily have drawn those squiggly lines and called them a building.

Chad Mellon · January 10, 2011

Clearly Libeskind knows nothing about what makes great urbanism. The 6th picture from the top (below the shot of the indoor pool), is particularly depressing. It looks like the bleak urban visions of Stalinist Russia. It is about as welcoming as a concentration camp. Random and meaningless diagonals cannot elevate the inhuman and drab prison-like aesthetic into the realm of architecture.

Kai · January 11, 2011 01:33 AM

It's describes exactly what I felt when I was there. Thank you

Jelle · January 10, 2011

Come on, it's a good project! Well put on top of a highway, a nice combination of functions and it seems to be very popular... An architect can pretend being the artist and only build museums and let retail and other 'popular' subjects look like shit - but be honest what's more difficult: making a good-looking museum, or a good-looking tropic swimming paradise? Of course mr Libeskind made a lot of money with this one - I'm happy for him, and for the customers of this project that at least doesn't look like a decorated shed or a duck.

Victor · January 10, 2011

libeskind is no longer the same...thats a shame for the architecture world..

atilla · January 10, 2011

Dear mr. gehry and mr. liebeskind
thanks for some innovative works that you have done in the past. But now please get creative as your names deserve or get retired.

Jonas · January 11, 2011 03:22 PM

Oh Lord, give me patience!

Bringing in Gehry to this discussion is nothing less than a major offence. Libeskind should have stuck to playing the piano. Basta!

Leonardo Ximenes · January 10, 2011

After exhausting all his creative energy on the Jewish Museum, Mr. Libeskind is exactly were he belongs: designing shopping centers.


Comments are closed

Read comments