This spectacular shopping centre is located in the expansive Hyllie city district in southwest Malmö. Emporia has a floor area of around 93,000 m², more than 200 retail stores and it offers shopping, food, cultural activities and entertainment. On the roof is a unique park, and over the years the shopping centre has won several international awards. Gert Wingårdh was principal architect for the project and Joakim Lyth administrative architect.

  •  Our intention was for Emporia to be part of the city, to withstand the passage of time and be above trends. It’s why terrazzo is perfect for floors, stairs, skirtings and walls. “Terrazzo is a sustainable, durable material that only grows more beautiful with age” says Joakim Lyth SAR/MSA, architect from Wingårdh Arkitektkontor in Malmö. I’ve worked with Emporia right from the start. It’s taken five years and I’ve put in more than 10,000 hours here, so I feel quite at home in the building.

The Emporia shopping centre’s closest neighbour is Malmö Arena, which was also designed by Wingårdhs. There is housing all around and the idea is for Emporia to act as a block within the local city district. Thanks to the City Tunnel, and the station right next door, communications are very good. Its catchment area is therefore large. Copenhagen Airport is just 13 minutes away and it only takes about 20 minutes from downtown Copenhagen.

Emporia is a fascinating building and no one who sees the two main entrances ever forgets them. The dramatic design, with two giant, concave arches in amber and blue glass, leaves no one unmoved.

  • • We envisage the entrances funnelling in people or pulling them in like black holes. It’s almost like a giant sweeping gesture.

Floating terrazzo floors
Because the décor is also imaginative and colourful, we wanted to balance it with more neutral floors. It’s why we used wood for the upper floor and terrazzo in calmer tones from white and light grey to almost black on the two lower floors. The stairs, wall cladding and skirting are also terrazzo.

  •  Terrazzo is both beautiful and durable. I’m always happy when I see an old terrazzo floor – they just grow more beautiful with age.

When it was time for Herrljunga Terrazzo to pour the in-situ cast floor, they were very thorough with the preparation. Stresses build up over large areas e.g. from heat expansion or because the building simply settles a little. This means even strong, durable materials may crack. It’s why there’s a sliding layer underneath, then a layer of concrete and on top of that, terrazzo to form what is known as a floating floor able to handle the tensions thanks to its flexibility.

Joint development
Wingårdhs takes care to involve its suppliers early on in the process.

  •  It’s so important to have good suppliers who know their material. This way we challenge one another, develop the product and find good solutions together. It simply a matter of good partnership, something we truly enjoy with Herrljunga Terrazzo. They’re open and attentive. I even paid a visit to their facility and Terrazzo Lab™ where they come up with new designs and material combinations. Its like a great big beautiful playground,” concludes Joakim.