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Kaufhaus Tyrol
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A shopper’s paradise on six levels: in the centre of Innsbruck’s historic old town, with its centuries-old buildings, English star architect David Chipperfield’s new Kaufhaus Tyrol provides a welcome contrast.

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The location is a nearly sacred one: here, where the new light-flooded mega-store, opened in 2010, offers six floors of pure shopping pleasure, is the very spot where Tyrol’s first major department store opened in 1908 – and that structure was also conspicuous for its groundbreaking architecture. As Innsbruck’s first reinforced concrete building, it was equipped with central heating, lifts, and an eighteen-metre-high glass dome at the top. The new Kaufhaus Tyrol unites modern independence with touches from the past; historic elements like the old shingled house, with two levels added to it, were carefully integrated into the structure. The natural light penetrates up to twenty-five metres above the cellar; particularly striking is the web-like steel construction on the ceiling beneath the glass roof elements. Thanks to the spacious design, even on very busy shopping days one can stroll through the mall without feeling crushed. From the various store levels one has views either of the imposing Nordkette or of the Maria Theresien Strasse. The mixture of shops is also a success: it is a pleasant combination of regional retailers and international businesses such as Peek & Cloppenburg, whose shop extends over three levels.

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