Careful modernization and re-purposing for Galleria Gallionen


Careful modernization and re-purposing for Galleria Gallionen

The brief was to transform the former supermarket into a modern and welcoming shopping centre that would bring vibrancy to the quarter and the town as a whole. The Galleria Gallionen project in Uddevalla involved many different aspects, from restoration to commercial values and urban planning. By carefully converting the building into a more contemporary commercial centre by using large areas of glazing, the site has gained a new lease of life and a totally new appearance. The glazing elements were all supplied by Sapa through its fabricator, Preconal.

The building, which was completed in 1968, was designed by architect Kornél Pajor. He took inspiration for his design from the international brutalist style, a term that originated from the French béton brût, or raw concrete. This was the style Pajor wanted to recreate and he therefore gave the exterior a rustic expression, captured in concrete. In recent decades Galleria Gallionen in Uddevalla had gained a reputation as a rather cold and unwelcoming building. A shopping centre should, ideally, act as a symbol for a city – a place where residents gather and a focal point for local trade. The ambition was therefore to remodel the architecture in a way that would feel more appealing and attractive to visitors and city residents.

“Our vision is that the future shopping centre should provide the foundations for a richer and more inviting urban space in the central parts of Uddevalla,” stated Yes Arkitekter, who were commissioned to transform the shopping centre into an attractive new space.

Galleria Gallionen had undergone several restorations over the years, which also meant that it had several layers of history. A more extensive renovation was carried out in 1990 that included premises for Domus, a department store. A distinctive exterior change in the 1990s was to the building’s full-length balcony that faced Drottninggatan. This was incorporated into the interior space, while the car ramp that had previously run up the outside of the building was removed and a new side entrance was added. Despite these revisions and additions the rustic concrete was still intact underneath all these layers. This concrete exterior was the essence of the building’s architectural history.

The brief for Yes Arkitekter was to peel back the layers of the building and start again from the elements that had survived and embodied the building’s history. The concrete was restored and the building was modernized by opening up the exterior walls facing the street. It was made more inviting by adding large areas of glazing comprising Sapa 4150 facade glazing and Sapa 2086 aluminium doors. As a result of this use of glass and aluminium to redesign the building it now feels more open and welcoming.

Sapa products: Facade: Sapa 4150, doors: Sapa 2086
Sapa fabricator: Preconal
Architect: Yes Arkitekter