The MPREIS market in St. Gallenkirch is situated on a well-trafficked country road on a steeply sloping terrain. The building’s structure profits from the site morphology:
- All auxiliary functions, including parking, storage, and delivery are located along the slope, visually hidden from the street. The slope also connects to the underground level, open on two sides, where structural columns define the rhythm of the parking raster and support the store on the upper level.
- The ground floor is slightly elevated above street level. Two horizontal concrete slabs define like a sandwich the boundaries of floor and ceiling, between which one finds the market and a café. These two concrete slabs represent the most distinctive elements of the design.
The horizontal partition of the building has been structured into three zones:
- A covered outdoor area serving as a bus stop and as an atrium, in the middle of which rests a regional fruit tree.
- An open, light-flooded entrance area that leads to a coffee bar and a terrace, with wide display windows spacing above green surroundings.
- In contrast to the previous two zones, the main shopping area has been conceived as an introverted space. The dark walls on two sides are drawing the customer's attention towards the displayed products. At the other end, a back-wall cladded with a three-dimensional mirrored sheet metallic surface, abstractly stages products and customers with constantly changing reflections.
A major source of inspiration for the design comes from the surrounding environment, mainly displayed in four elements: concrete, stone, local silver fir, and glass—the newly interpreted with a modern formal language.
[Photography by Lukas Schaller]