Aleja-Center Ljubljana. Credit: SES
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ALEJA-Center Ljubljana Food Court and INTERSPAR realised by umdasch

SES Spar European Shopping Centers, the market leader for shopping centres in Austria, opened the trend-setting ALEJA-Center in Ljubljana as a multi-functional shopping and leisure hot spot at the end of May 2020.

The iconic building is a further architectural highlight in the magnificent cultural capital, Ljubljana, thereby creating a new rendezvous for the city’s inhabitants. The characteristic design features continue into the public areas of the Food Court within the centre; the specially crafted furnishings were supplied by umdasch.

Focus on gastronomy, leisure and experience inthe spirit of the times

ALEJA has brought a multi-functional location for shopping, gastronomy, leisure and sport which includes numerous innovations to Ljubljana. The centre features, for example, the “ALEJA SKY”:  a 6,200 square-metre experience and leisure zone on the roof of the Centre, with areas of grass and a fitness circuit as well as a children’s playground. 

As in all SES Centres, particular attention was paid here to the gastronomy. This time it takes the form of a Food Court below a vast dome with outdoor terraces for all the gastronomy operations connected with ALEJA SKY. National and international cuisine with waiter service is offered across an area of 2,300 square metres as well as fast-food establishments for quick snacks. The seating areas in the Food Courts were fitted out by umdasch The Store Makers with high-quality furniture. Various table combinations, room-dividing elements with leather benches and seating niches were specially produced.

Marcus Wild, CEO SES Spar European Shopping Centers, emphasised: “We appreciate the variety which umdasch offers from a single source as our partner for interior design – from planning to tender to implementation. At the same time the architectural design lives up to the high standards we expect in this area.”

Local colour in the design

The unique architecture of the building was planned and implemented by SES together with ATP architekten ingenieure. The façade is a particular highlight, with multi-coloured diamond-shaped scales reminiscent of a dragon, the heraldic animal of the Slovenian capital. In the fast-food area some of the glass scales are blanked off with stylish fabric triangles which were also supplied by umdasch. Warm, natural materials, light colours and soft, organic forms also characterise the flowing style of ALEJA. The shopping mall is designed with high-quality materials and features natural stone flooring and plenty of daylight. The sales areas on the top floor are linked together by three bridges. Planted columns and a tree serve as vertical green elements between the lower and upper floors. Additional planting at intervals, water features and fountains together with seating and rest areas complement the natural character and give visitors a feeling that they are in the heart of the bustling city. 

INTERSPAR: 3,800 m²shopping experience 

Of course a modern INTERSPAR forms an essential part of any SES shopping centre. Here, too, the furnishings and shopfittings were provided by umdasch The Store Makers. The latest ASPIAG model market concept offers numerous special features as well as some 40,000 products and makes the hypermarket into a real shopping experience across 3,800 square metres. The Store Makers manufactured the service desks for the “SPAR to go” convenience and takeaway concept and provided the casing for the chilling units at the back, thereby creating an attractive stage for freshly prepared pizzas, snacks, salads and sandwiches. The “Energy Zone” was fitted with a complete chilling unit for the first time, thereby providing a special focus in the drinks section.

A number of Solid Dispensers by umdasch together with HL Display permit the packaging-free purchase of nuts and dried fruits. The area for alternative foods was fitted with specially manufactured glassed-in image elements made of oak wood for a particularly sustainable shopping experience. The fruit and vegetable section was designed as usual to reflect the flair of a market-place, with the mood conveyed by pallet-sized wooden crates amongst other features. These are then filled with fresh, seasonal, regional and organic products.

The non-food areas also present numerous offers awaiting discovery by the consumers: for example through the newly created placement elements, original solutions for product presentation and a movable gondola on rollers for flexibility which also permits a reaction to seasonal topics in school and leisure. “umdasch has proved itself time and time again through our long-standing partnership and in the way it introduces good ideas as well as the excellent implementation of the requirements of our ASPIAG concepts”, was the enthusiastic comment of Peter Glaszner of the Equipment / Model Market International for ASPIAG Management AG.

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