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Shoppingcenter Stachus

Project type: Commercial/Retail


Location: Munich, Germany


Time: 2008


The Stachus is one of the busiest public spaces in Germany. A subterranean public transport node and underpass leading to Munich’s pedestrianised zone, it is also a shopping centre with a multitude of outlet stores. In recent years, the passageway has become increasingly convoluted and confusing, impacting on interest in its retail facilities.


As if following the concentric waves created by a stone falling in water, the form of the roof of GRAFT’s proposal leads visitors intuitively from street level underground into the shopping centre. Beginning in the area of the entrance and exit, the waves expand concentrically in height and in the direction of pedestrian traffic.


The floor plan was developed to facilitate clear visual orientation. On entering the passageway, the visitor can already see the exit at the far end. All exits are visible from its centre as the passages radiate from a common nexus. The ceiling is articulated as an entity that is present and legible throughout the design, lending the space a unique atmosphere. It conceals within it all the necessary services such as ventilation, sprinklers, signage for public transport, and lighting which mimics the warm light of daylight and is at the same time a sophisticated composition of surfaces.


The lighting becomes brighter towards the exits and helps provide orientation to visitors as they navigate the zones it defines. The lighting can also be stimulating, shifting in patterns of light and shadow like a clouded sky, or emphasising a specific motion to signify a particular traffic situation.