OMA has been selected to renovate Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe), a historic department store in Berlin – and the biggest in continental Europe. Its giant size “makes it akin to a city: a three dimensional network of paths, squares, neighbourhoods, activitiies and views unfolding through its large extensions and providing opportunities for commercial, social and cultural encounters,” writes OMA. To address the size, their design divides the department store into four quadrants, breaking “the original mass into smaller, easily accessible and navigable components.” Each quadrant will target different audiences and act as an independent department store. Learn more about the design after the break. From the architect: Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) belongs to a consolidated tradition of historical European urban department stores such as Galleries Lafayette in Paris, Selfridges in London or la Rinascente in Milan. Historically Department Stores have been one of the pillars of early modern retail, acting as an incubator for sophisticated crafts, social exchange and challenging experimentation in services.
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