Bolles+Wilson was commissioned to redesign the historic Hanomag "U-Boat Hall" into an RS+Yellow Furniture Outlet in Hanover, Germany—yet another example in the repurposing of unused industrial spaces and fusing the past with the present.
The contemporary furniture pieces and the U-Boat Hall's warehouse atmosphere are an interesting juxtaposition, and both vie for visitors' attention. Wooden flooring and bright-colored accents contrast against the rusty columns of the structure, an intended U-boat production site that halted construction in 1944. A brick wall on one side of the building's interior adds hip appeal that complements the outlet store's colorful inventory. On the other hand, the structure's original components—in addition to its enormous size—are hard to ignore, almost to the point where it becomes the main showpiece.
What do you think of B+W's redesign? Scroll down to see some images and more details.
↑ Interior of the U-Boat Hall. Photo by Olaf Mahlstedt. © BOLLES+WILSON
"There is today an enormous potential in the re-scripting of grand industrial spaces, survivors from an epoch that had less trouble expressing itself and its mechanical or technical potency than our current mean and exploitative 'global shopping center-culture'.
One thinks of São Paulo's Fábrica da Pompéia by Lina Bo Bardi, London's Tate Bankside, or the Zollverein Coal Mine in Essen, Germany."
↑ Concept model of the RS+Yellow Furniture Outlet. © BOLLES+WILSON
↑ Structure plan. © BOLLES+WILSON
"This was our first reaction as our client drove his black Porsche into the rusting cathedral of Hanover's 'U-boat Hall'. Was it a panic reaction at the end of WW II to build a submarine production space so far from the North Sea? The structure of the hall had in fact been originally designed for a U-boat production site of a naval dockyard in Wilhelmshaven. As it turned out the enigmatically named 'U-boat Hall' was only finished in 1944 and was thus not used for armament production."
↑ Photos by Olaf Mahlstedt. © BOLLES+WILSON
"Now sliced like salami the 'Industrial Heritage Structure' is to house various commercial outlets - a mega Bicycle Emporium where racing bikes can be tested in the shop or this landscape of colored furniture.
This is in fact two shops; RS (wholesome wood) and Yellow (sub-designer). BOLLES+WILSON have already realized their flagship store in Münster and the HQ Building, a rooftop lake above a 'big box' two-floor warehouse/distribution center."
↑ Interior of RS+Yellow Furniture Outlet. Photo by Olaf Mahlstedt. © BOLLES+WILSON
"For the 'U-boat Hall' the rent was based on the square meters of the hall's floor. The architectural question was how to maximize this floor area with a selling landscape and a back of house warehouse for customers to pick up their new sofa / table / lamp."
↑ Interior of RS+Yellow Furniture Outlet. Photos by Olaf Mahlstedt. © BOLLES+WILSON
"The magnificent scale of rusting columns, elevated crane track and skylight box, resist the invasion of domestic equipment, relegating it to the status of 'a carpet of colored pixels' spread across the selling decks."
↑ Flooring of RS+Yellow Furniture Outlet. Photo by Olaf Mahlstedt. © BOLLES+WILSON
Location: Göttinger Straße 16, 30449 Hanover, Germany
Architect: BOLLES+WILSON, Prof. Julia Bolles-Wilson, Peter Wilson
Construction supervision: Klaus Kuchenbuch
Project leader: Axel Kempers
Planning: March 2010 – May 2011 [planning phases 2-4], January 2012 - April 2012 [planning phase 5]
Realization: October 2012
Gross floor area: 7,300 sqm
Building costs ca.: 1.7 Mio Euro (except for facade renovation and technical installations)
Client: Rainer Scholze
Structural engineers: ahw Ingenieure GmbH, Münster engineers
Service engineers: TIGEV-Ingenieurgesellschaft GmbH
Building physics: agsta Architekten und Ingenieure
Fire protection: hhpberlin - Ingenieure für Brandschutz GmbH
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