The Westside Shopping and Leisure Centre in Bern-Brunnen, Switzerland, is notable for its unique integration of architecture and landscape and the ways in which it invites glimpses of the natural world into the usually hermetic world of a large urban shopping complex.
Extensive window cuts in varying designs open up the façade and conjure a web of natural light, including a panoramic window in the food court and spa area.
The bulk of the retail space of the Westside project is organized in the well-tested convention of boxes and their efficient relationship between retail, circulation and delivery. In dialogue and contrast to this convention, the Westside “mall” is developed into a crystalline structure which articulates public spaces and leisure facilities in a sculptural architecture. This space creates a great variety of scales, perspectives and atmospheres ranging from the grand to the intimate; from the dynamic to the contemplative. This central space orients, attracts and provides unprecedented flexibility for the future needs of the entire complex.
With its impressive location above Bern’s A1 highway and direct connection to train and transport networks, the 1.5 million square foot complex is a self-enclosed district with day and night facilities offering endless amenities and services. Since its opening in 2008, Westside has become a meeting place for the greater region of Bern.