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Ron Arad Architects were invited by Wilhelm & Co to design a new shopping mall within the 40,000m2 ‘Mediacite’ development. Situated in Liege, once the world’s foremost centre of steel production and since in economic decline, the building stands out as a symbol of the city’s revitalisation and strives to spearhead the city’s regeneration.
The 350m long mall weaves through the fabric of the refurbished old market centre at one end, through the new two storey building, connecting to the new Belgian national television centre at the other. The design of the roof unites these elements with a complex network of steel roof ribs that undulate through the mall. The lattice of steel sculpts the volume of the mall beneath, varying both in height and structural depth to form a variety of differing experiences. The steel ribs overhead, mirrored in the floor pattern, draw a sinuous pathway pulling you towards and through each of the zones, revealing diverse vistas that surprise along the way. As the structure exits the volume of the main building (at the 2 Piazzas and at the link between the old market and new mall) the steel ribs wrap downwards, merging into facade to enclose the building’s envelope.
Contributed by ArchiTeam