Edeka Market in Flensburg

Flensburg, Germany
Architecture office Hansen
New Market, Streetlife

Edeka market in Flensburg

Tradition and modernity in an architectural dialogue

Building law requirements due to the protection of existing buildings from the 1950s as well as the embedding in a residential area made the modernization of the Edeka market in Flensburg a challenge which the leading architectural office Hansen mastered skillfully. The result is a shopping centre with an extraordinary atmosphere that combines old and new in a special way. Stylistically matching floor tiles as a connecting element and fundamental basis make an important contribution to this. Representative XXL wall tiles in the meat counter area avoid unadorned sterility and set attractive accents.

Started as a wood shop, the imposing building of exposed brickwork later housed a branch of Kaiser's (a former German supermarket chain) before Lutz Blask decided to open his Edeka store here in 2010. With 950 square metres, however, it was already one of the smallest full-range stores in Flensburg at the time. Blask was all the more delighted when, in 2018, the opportunity arose not only to modernize the store but also to expand it to around 1,500 square meters. The decision was not difficult for Blask, but the planning in the run-up to the construction project was somewhat more complicated. For example, it was necessary to purchase additional land in order to create the required number of parking spaces. In addition, appropriate noise protection measures were to be taken to take account of the legitimate interests of the local residents. At the same time, everything had to be handled sensitively under building law in order not to jeopardize the protection of existing buildings from the 1950s.

In coordination with the Edeka headquarters, the Hansen architectural office (Hürup/Germany) developed a new extension in steel and glass construction. This extension and the existing building were designed as a large market with flowing transitions, yet a clear visual separation between old and new was to be maintained. Hansen achieved this demanding goal creatively and constructively in the true sense of the word: for the transition to the new building and the entrance to the Medelbyer bakery with seating and Sunday opening, a proud eight metres of the old exposed brickwork wall were opened and statically underpinned with beams. For fire protection reasons, the previous steel windows were also removed, the openings bricked up and the original windows reinstalled. A successful illusion, because the visitors of the market assume that they will continue to look at the former exterior wall of the old wood shop. The architects also make skillful use of the original, powerful appearance of the exposed masonry and created an impressive entrance for the Medelbyer bakery, which is rich in tradition.

The visual link between the "old" and the "new" market for the visitor is created by a uniform floor covering of high-quality ceramic tiles. "I am very grateful to Hansen Architects for creating such a perfect ambience for our customers, but also for my employees," enthuses Blask as he looks back on the successful modernization. For him, it was therefore a matter of course that the floor covering should also be something special. Tiles with a stylistically appropriate appearance, in an adequate format and in a colour that matches the overall concept. One chose ceramic tiles of Agrob Buchtal: The proven porcelain stoneware series New Market (Inside Out version) is an extremely robust and resilient floor covering, which is manufactured as an "extra-thick" (15 millimetres) ceramic tile and thus withstands driving with forklifts, pallet trucks or similar rolling loads without problems.

The architects created a special design highlight in the area of the meat counter. There they used also tiles of Agrob Buchtal in the representative XXL format of 60x120 centimetres, which were laid with straight joint. The Streetlife collection is a ceramic creation made of high-quality porcelain stoneware with refined structures, unevenness and textures which combine to create an attractive overall composition. In the colour rust used here, a very special effect reminiscent of metallic surfaces is generated by applying a shiny granulate.
In total, Agrob Buchtal supplied around 1,500 square metres of porcelain stoneware tiles from the New Market series (Inside Out version in anthracite) in the format of 30x60 centimetres.

While tiles were laid on tiles in the existing building, the so-called vibration method was used in the glass extension. In this special process, the bedding mortar is pre-compacted, levelled off and cement slurry applied as a contact layer. After the tiles have been laid, special vibrators with a defined force cross the ceramic tiles several times and press them into the bed. The multi-stage procedure leads to a void-free bond in which ceramic covering and laying base form a compact unit. The tiled floor has high stability, outstanding load-bearing capacity and excellent flatness and can be easily cleaned by machine. Thanks to in-plant rectification (precise grinding of the edges to exact dimensions), the dimensions of the individual tiles are also so precise that very narrow and filigree joints can be realized. The Edeka market Lutz Blask has also taken advantage of this: the tiled floor looks like a homogeneous surface and forms the architectural link between the venerable existing building and the modern glass extension.

Photographer: Jochen Stüber

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