New shopping and experience center as a visitor magnet

Within just ten years, the number of shopping centers in Germany with retail space of more than 10,000 m2 has risen from 88 to over 450. And the trend is continuing, as evidenced by ongoing projects in Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Kaiserslautern, for example. Planners, operators and local authorities see centers as a means of revitalizing city centers. One example of this is the Stadtgalerie Schweinfurt, which has been able to significantly increase the attractiveness of this central northern Bavarian city thanks to its central, downtown location and a holistic sustainability concept with unique architecture and high-quality furnishings. With 100 specialty stores on two levels and a sales area of 22,500 m2, the Stadtgalerie is one of the largest shopping and experience centers in northern Bavaria.

Urban integration

The inner-city industrial wasteland of a former ball bearing factory offered itself as an ideal location. The sale of the site to ECE Projektmanagement GmbH enabled the derelict area to be reintegrated into the urban landscape and the new use to significantly enhance the competitiveness and attractiveness of Schweinfurt as a major shopping center. With reference to the history of the location, a preserved factory entrance portal from the beginning of the 20th century was restored and integrated into the new building.

The shopping center is linked to the old town by footpaths and cycle paths and is easily accessible by public transport from the surrounding area. The main entrance area, located on a traffic-calmed boulevard, is characterized by a unique architecture that attracts attention with offsets, penetrations, and changes of materials and colors.

Quality down to the last detail

In view of the 20,000 visitors to the Stadtgalerie on average every day, particularly high quality requirements were placed on the furnishings of the floors and entrance areas. And because it is the entrance areas that convey the first impression of the entire property, those responsible opted here for preventive cleaning with the aid of high-quality entrance matting systems of the “Marschall” and “Plaza” types. One of the architects’ demanding specifications was that each mat should fit harmoniously into its structural environment, irrespective of its location and the amount of foot traffic, and that it should also be precisely matched to the symmetry of the laying grid of the floor covering in question. As a result, different mat shapes were used in the Stadtgalerie, ranging from simple rectangles to complicated geometries with numerous diagonal cuts and recesses.

“The pathways all around the shopping center lead visitors in, and often just through, so there is a very high load on the entrance mats. They are – just like the architecture – extremely resilient, functional and blend in harmoniously in terms of design.”

Andreas Fuchs,
ECE Director Creative Design Architecure

The main entrance area in particular, with a width of eight meters and a direct connection of the system to the door system and the post-and-beam construction of the façade, required particular attention to detail both in the measurement and in the cutting and laying of the mat within the installation frame anchored in advance in the screed.

The installed systems withstand daily loads very well and lead to significantly less contaminated floor coverings and thus to a considerably reduced use of personnel, chemicals and water for cleaning. The fact that they contribute both to optimizing building management and to protecting the environment underscores the sustainability of the mats used. Another positive effect is that by reducing the amount of sand, gravel and wetness, damage to the high-quality floor coverings is avoided. In this way, their high value and noble surface appearance are maintained for a long time despite high visitor numbers.