A new era of shopping at Cologne/Bonn Airport: umdasch The Store Makers plans and builds open travel retail concept


umdasch The Store Makers created an open design with marketplace character for the recently opened duty-free areas in Terminals 1 and 2 at Cologne/Bonn Airport. On behalf of the Turkish duty-free operator Setur, the experienced travel-retail experts from umdasch were also responsible for shopfitting and general contracting. Regionality, openness and sustainability are the core themes of the concept. It includes a completely new shopping experience – customer-oriented, modern and with a high quality of stay.

Maik Drewitz, umdasch Shop Consult Director, created the design for the duty-free area in Cologne/Bonn together with his team. "In this project umdasch acted as a holistic one-stop shop – from the concept to shopfitting to general contracting – our duty-free team accompanied this project from A to Z and did an excellent job", says Drewitz, delighted with the highlight project. Despite the short conversion time and work in the middle of the security area, the Store Makers were able to prove their competence as duty-free specialists operating worldwide.

For Setur, which was the first duty-free operator in Turkey in 1965 and today belongs to the Koç group, Cologne/Bonn Airport is the first airport location in Europe. Ahmet Sonmez, CEO of Setur, adds: "With this investment in Europe, we are initiating the globalisation step of our growth strategy. In the coming years, we want to expand the potential of Cologne/Bonn Airport and create value for all stakeholders with our customer-oriented service philosophy."

Flughafen Köln/Bonn by umdasch

Experience market flair at the airport

Terminal 1 is visually reminiscent of a market hall. The 900 m² space consists of three areas, which are perfectly staged and visually connected. This is achieved by the generous promenade and a pergola that reinforces the open impression. As a central element and absolute eye-catcher, a green display with all flight information is presented in the middle. The ceiling element is part of the staging and allows the boundaries between airport and retail to merge. Another important point in the conception was the flexible furnishing, which allows a quick and easy change of the product images. For this purpose, furniture on castors is used in some cases, which is moved out during the day for a pleasant shopping experience and then pushed back into the store after closing time. This makes it possible to use the space exactly as it is needed. Highlight and promotion points along the aisle attract passengers' attention and draw them to the areas. Numerous digital themes will also be found in the new terminal in the future, for example click & collect stations and self-checkout counters.

Flughafen Köln/Bonn by umdasch

The design of Terminal 2 creates a marketplace atmosphere in the almost 600 m² area: the open design with numerous seating areas creates a high quality of stay that contributes to slowing down. At the same time, the concept optimally bridges the gap between the gastronomy offer, the shopping experience and the waiting time until departure. In autumn, the airport will add a green wall and a large LED wall for individual display to the retail area. Here, too, the furniture can be used flexibly, for example a rolling tasting bar in the spirits department. A 50 m² event area is also planned within the retail space. The horizontal textile shutters for night-time closing are also a novelty: The lockable security system is pulled out of the furniture after closing time and closes off the sales area, eliminating the need for disruptive façade elements.

Flughafen Köln/Bonn by umdasch

Inspired by Rhineland elements

An essential element of the concept development was to make the regionality of the Cologne/Bonn location tangible. Therefore, the umdasch designers integrated both traditional Cologne and Bonn elements. The "Cologne bridge green" – the typical colour of the Cologne Rhine bridges – was taken up in the concept as the basic colour for the façade design. In addition, pink blossoms suspended from the ceiling are presented as a reference to the annual cherry blossom in Bonn's old town. In addition to the famous composer Beethoven, whose birthplace is Bonn, the Cologne Carnival and the Cologne dialect are also thematised in the design. In this way, the mentality of the Rhineland is ideally made tangible at the airport. In addition, Setur focuses on regional products, but at the same time offers a wide variety of brands. This creates a modern mix of local and international assortments.

Flughafen Köln/Bonn by umdasch

Sustainability in many dimensions

The topic of sustainability was considered holistically during the development of the concept. It is not only reflected in the materials used or the variable furniture in terms of eco-design, but also concerns local planning, furniture production in Europe, the use of a local craftsmen's network and much more. The flooring used is low-emission and the chipboards were made entirely from waste wood material. It was also important to make the best possible use of the existing building fabric and to use as little new material as possible. Therefore, the archways and frames were taken over and clad, the ceiling frame remained unchanged.

Flughafen Köln/Bonn by umdasch

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