October 7, 2008
The new Westside
complex designed by Daniel Libeskind
will be inaugurated tomorrow in Berne
. This is the largest private investment ever made in Switzerland
, and is expected to welcome 3,500,000 visitors a year, and to become a point of reference and attraction for the entire region.
Built covering part of the A1/E25 motorway, the building complex is proposed as a new gate of entry for those approaching the city from the west; its construction required two and a half years to complete and, in peak periods, employed up to 2,000 people a day.
The project is conceived as an integration between architecture and landscape, which reflects the soul of the Berne
districts; the facades that look onto the countryside, on its western side, are faced with wood to create a point of encounter between the city and nature.
The complex’s backbone is a shopping centre
, characterised by a “medieval-like” spatial complexity which fully adapts, however, to the demands of contemporary living. It includes 55 shops
and 10 restaurant-bars
. It is completed by a 114-room hotel
, a residential complex for the elderly
, composed of 95 apartments, a cineplex
with 11 movie theatres, and a swimming-pool with wellness centre