The Westside Shopping and Leisure Centre, on the outskirts of Berne, Switzerland, is a multi-use facility with shops, restaurants, a swimming pool, conference spaces, residences, a hotel, fitness centers, and a movie theater. It was designed by international architect Daniel Libeskind and completed in October 2008.
Despite its location west of the city, in Brünnen-Bern, Westside is urban in scale. According to Studio Daniel Libeskind’s website, the site brings “together the dimensions of commerce, culture and leisure." Positioned over a highway, the center overlooks an S-Bahn station and acts as a gateway to Bern. The complex is crystalline in structure; a steel concrete skeleton supports the center’s wood façade.
Cuts in the roof bring the changing daylight into the center’s two plazas. One plaza faces the surrounding Brünnen landscape and connects to the center’s bath, while the other plaza adjoins the hotel and cinema.
Windows tumble across the façade, bringing light into the building. This design evokes the erratic matrix of windows across Libeskind’s first major international success, the Jewish Museum Berlin.