Engelhorn ACC/ES Mannheim

The Engelhorn ACC/ES building, the completion to the Mannheim city quarter, was designed and constructed to be expressive and timeless within an urban context.

Wedge-shaped glass facade.
Wedge-shaped glass facade.

The Engelhorn ACC/ES building, the completion to the Mannheim city quarter, was designed and constructed to be expressive and timeless within an urban context. According to Dieter Blocher, architect, partner and founder of Stuttgart-based Blocher Blocher Partners: "We wanted to create an icon. The unconventional facade is a significant reflection of the company culture. The corpus provides no clues regarding the division of the floors. Instead of dividing the facade horizontally - as suggested by the structure of the floors - the connection is diagonal."

The six-storey building comprises 2,000m², four storeys are devoted to retail space for luxury fashion labels while the top two storey feature the Le Corange café/bar and heated roof-terrace. "The aim of the company was to provide those brands with an exclusive and extraordinary framework, which also visualises the philosophy of Engelhorn as a trendsetter in the fashion scene," says Blocher.

The wedge-shaped glass of the facade shifts the viewer's eye and create the illusion of fusing together the floors of the building. The connecting diagonal: "becomes a unique experience" for those outside as well as inside the building, as the visual contradiction makes the interior appear to curve toward the observer.

The ground floor and first floor incorporate natural stone, bronzed glass and gilded brass. The second and third floors use unglazed stone ceramic and leather furniture coverings, while the fourth floor uses sand-lime brick and lacquered walls. The materials within were chosen purposefully to create tension throughout the built environment.

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