PlusCity in Pasching, Upper Austria, almost a city of its own dedicated to leisure activities
Opened in 1989 in Pasching, a small municipality in the affluent area of Linz, PlusCity has rapidly become one of the major shopping centres in the region of Upper Austria and is attracting users from the nearby regional capital and beyond. Situated along the main route connecting Pasching with Traun and Linz, after twenty-five years of successful business, the existing facility has recently undergone a restyling, reorganization, partial demolition and expansion project which, as announced in 2014 by the senior management responsible for the project costing 140 million euros, has increased the retail area by 20,000 sq.m and has turned PlusCity into the largest shopping centre in the whole region.
The project was driven by several goals, foremost among them to expand shopping facilities and increase its attractiveness to users living beyond the national borders in nearby Bavaria and the Czech Republic. At the same time, it aimed to counteract the growing trend of online shopping by offering renovated interiors and new areas dedicated to leisure activities to satisfy (as well as create) customer needs among broader user categories.
The renovated PlusCity shopping centre, opened in early 2016 after two years of work, now houses 220 stores and 48 restaurants, and together with the existing structure occupies a total floor surface of 70,000 sq.m. Alongside the shops and expanded restaurant area, the centre houses a veritable citadel dedicated to leisure activities, featuring a multiplex cinema with 15 projection rooms, a fitness facility and a family entertainment centre with a billiard room, a bowling alley and a variety of areas for play activities.
The glass and steel structures, consisting of 6,400 sq.m of glass and 1,200 tons of steel manufactured and installed by the Unger Steel Group, take centre stage in the architectural design of the new PlusCity. These materials have been used for the construction of the entire shell of the new section of the shopping centre as well as for the focal point of its interior, that is, the impressive prefabricated barrel vault – one of the world’s biggest in the commercial sector – through which the natural light floods directly into the heart of PlusCity, the palm court and the multi-level gallery that some of the stores open onto. Steel and glass are also the main construction materials of the four, 49 m long and 10 m wide, bridges connecting the new facility to the existing building.
As with every shopping centre, a discreet but fundamental element of the interior design is the flooring, which has to be high-performance in terms of resistance and aesthetic quality but also versatile. For PlusCity, which hosts some 20,000 visitors per day, Italian porcelain stoneware manufactured by Ceramica Fondovalle (Tracks, Komi Cassettone and Action Light collections) has been chosen for the indoor common areas and car parks.
Externally, the renovation project has also included the improvement of infrastructures, with the extension costs allocated partly to the building of a new car park, adding around 2,100 new spaces to the original 3,000 spaces, and partly to the construction of brand new terminals for buses connecting the centre to the city of Linz and a four-lane access road.