Just a year shy of the official opening, Daniel Libeskind was in Bern to celebrate the completion of the core and shell of the westside Shopping and Leisure Center.
The multi-use facility combines a shopping center with 60 shops, a food court, and several restaurants and bars with a multiplex cinema with eleven auditoriums, a hotel and conference space, wellness center, fitness center and senior residence. Designed to replicate a medieval city, westside adopts all the functions of a 21st century public space by incorporating multi-level rooms, alleys and plazas, which are accentuated by the changing daylight that reaches all of the unique spaces through skylights and clearstories. Since the laying of the foundation in April 2006, between 400 and 600 workers have been at the construction site daily and have used more than 80,000 cubic meters of concrete, 120,000 cubic meters of aggregate, 11,000 tons of steel, 5,000 square meters of glass, 3,500 cubic meters of wood, 350 kilometers of power cables and 200 kilometers of pipes. Dramatically located over highway A1, westside creates an exciting gateway into the city of Bern. The layered wooden façade connects the city area with the countryside to the west; while a new train stop connects westside to public transportation. “This project creates a unique integration of architecture, landscape and a sophisticated urban spirit,” said Libeskind.