The Galeria Kaufhof department store occupies a prominent spot directly opposite the town hall of Chemnitz. Here, the market and the new market merge to form a common area, just as they did in the historic city during the 19th century. Europe’s “most modern department store” was built in line with the plans laid down by Murphy Jahn Inc. Architects and, with its 7,500 -m2 glass façade, forms the modern counterpart to the historic town hall.
Both hanging and standing structures were involved in creating the façade glazing. Around 1,000 insulated glass panes, each 2 by 4 metres, were attached with plate clamps to a highly transparent building shell using wet jointing. The hanging façades are suspended on tension rods, which run in the vertical joints from the fourth to the first floor. The construction is also stabilised by a second tension rod resting on the spider clamp.
Horizontal steel bars provide longitudinal reinforcement for the façade.
The glazing at the main entrance posed a particular challenge: here, the façade spans 18 metres, reinforced longitudinally by glass fins made of laminated safety glass. At the building’s edges, the structure was connected to the ceilings over spiders and glass floors with an anti-slip coating that can be walked on. Silicone profiles on the corners absorb any movements of the individual façade surfaces or of the building itself. For this project, seele also created 5,000 m2 of roof glazing, the atrium roof and all-glass railings and canopies attached by means of point fittings.