Düsseldorf shopping highlights:
On Tour in the Kö-Bogen I
In the best company with everything you need
2023 marks a special anniversary – ten years of the Kö-Bogen I. And there will surely be many in Düsseldorf who will see this as a great reason to celebrate. This two-part building complex designed by New York star architect Daniel Libeskind has not only added another architectural landmark to the city. Kö-Bogen I also is a wonderful destination for shopping and eating out, offering an exciting mix of stores in a prominent position at the top of the Königsallee.
Can’t wait for the anniversary celebrations to begin and want to find yourself a glamorous evening dress or an elegant piece of jewellery right now? Looking for a suitcase with great functional features or the latest device or gadget? Or maybe you just want to get out of the house and update your autumn/winter wardrobe. Whatever your reason for visiting, we’ve already had a browse around the Kö-Bogen I for you in advance.
Light, space and electronics
The dynamic and extravagant architecture is impressively striking, even from a distance. The curved, wave-like facade of Libeskind’s ensemble on Schadowplatz is a combination of glass and white natural stone. It’s hard to imagine that for decades this location within view of two other architectural icons – the Dreischeibenhaus and the Schauspielhaus theatre – was once a dreary hub on the city’s tram network. Now the area is reserved exclusively for pedestrians, and today we are enjoying the flair of the big city under beautiful blue skies.
As we approach the building, the first thing we see is an apple. Not just any apple, of course, but the iPhone brand’s flagship store in Haus Königsallee, the visually stunning Kö-Bogen I building on the left as you look from Schadowplatz. With its huge glass windows and ten metre-high ceilings, it provides the perfect backdrop for the Californian high-tech company’s products. Inside the store, it’s airy and light. A minimalist setting where you can take your time trying out the latest Apple products at the long counters or give them a thorough testing if need be.
With a bit of targeted research, you’ll also find the latest in household technology at Kö-Bogen I. The Miele Experience Center right next door to the Apple Store was opened around a year ago. The store’s motto is ‘Feel, Smell, Touch’ so you can discover all there is to know about this iconic brand of washing machine, which enjoys a reputation for being virtually indestructible. The product range covers everything from smart dishwashers and hobs to wine chillers. Not to mention the fully automatic Plantcubes from Miele subsidiary Agrilution, in which you can grow your own salad leaves and herbs at home. The store also puts on cooking events and culinary taster sessions.
An urban feel by the water’s edge
One of the very first tenants at the mall was Rüschenbeck Jewellers. When the store first opened its doors, it had a superlative object on display in the window - a necklace with 321 diamonds, 165 carats and a €1 million price tag. It was showcased under the store’s own brand name, Just Jewels. But Rüschenbeck Jewellers is not only famed for its own creations. As you walk past the corner store’s display cases, you’ll also see timepieces made by some of the world’s most famous watchmakers.
We now turn the corner and there on the right is Hofgarten Park, opposite the grand old Steigenberger Parkhotel. People are enjoying their lunch break sitting on the park terraces in the sun. There are ducks and a few seagulls on the waters of the Landskrone, a pond that was extended when the Kö-Bogen was built. By now it is becoming very clear just how special this venue really is and how well the Libeskind building fuses architecture and nature. Here, on the northern and western edge of the complex, the exterior is broken up by leafy diagonal ‘cuts’ running across several floors. It’s not surprising that the Kö-Bogen I received the prestigious Mipim Award for the ‘Best Urban Regeneration Project’. This is not merely an architectural highlight, after all. The Kö-Bogen blends perfectly into the cityscape and the locals have taken it to their heart.
Coffee, cocktails or carbonara?
The best proof of this is the large terrace outside the Italian restaurant, Palio Poccino, which is very busy today as usual and offers some lovely views over the water. The tables at the nearby Poccino Espresso Bar are nearly all full too. Also part of the Poccino brand, the pastry shop show production ‘Pasticceria San Marco’ is an opportunity for you to watch cakes, pasticcini and biscotti being lovingly created. From early evening onwards, the focus switches from Sicilian and Neapolitan baking to cocktails.
The cocktail menu at Eduard’s by Breuninger also has something to tempt everyone. We feel it might be a little early for cocktails right now, but how about a glass of prosecco? There’s nothing quite like it for pepping you up on a shopping spree. You can even take the weight off your feet for a while at Eduard’s fantastic terrace. It lies virtually in the shadow of the Kö-Bogen, at the point where the Haus Hofgarten tapers to a point and the northern Düssel river flows into the Landskrone. Featuring a large glass frontage, the inside of the all-day cocktail bar looks equally inviting with its warm copper tones, cosy seating areas and ceiling-mounted lights
:. The interior design echoes elements from Eduard’s in Stuttgart, for which it received the much-coveted Red Dot Design award.
The store is named after the company founder, Eduard Breuninger, who opened the very first Breuninger premises on Stuttgart’s market square in 1881. This flagship store can still be found today in Baden-Württemberg’s regional capital. The Düsseldorf branch is the second largest. Covering more than 15,000 square metres with an outstanding selection of exclusive fashion, accessories, beauty and lifestyle products, it is by far the biggest store at the Kö-Bogen I. It’s no wonder therefore that Breuninger decided to expand its culinary offering here, opening two further restaurants in Düsseldorf in addition to Eduard’s:,
: Confiserie Breuninger and Sansibar by Breuninger. Our plan for today: a spot of shopping followed by a visit to the Sansibar. But first a couple of other stores await us.
Glamour and casual elegance
Unique – just be you. This is the brand name for a range of cocktail and evening dresses that are simple, stylish, sparkling and flamboyant, with sophisticated appliqué and embroidery. From sleek satin dress to a dream in tulle – at the Kö-Bogen, home to the German label’s first and only high street store to date, there’s something to suit every taste. On the second floor, there’s a VIP showroom affording lovely views over Hofgarten Park. You’re sure to find a dress here that is worthy not only of the red carpet, but any special event.
Talking of which, when leaving the Unique store you’ll pass the Kö-Bogen event space. Particularly in the summer, this regularly hosts events, such as the ‘Kö-Bogen Sundowner Lounge’ – but take care not to trip over the nail in the floor! Don’t worry, we’re only joking. The nail in question is actually a sculpture by Günther Uecker and is simply too big and impressive for you to miss!
Going back to the world of fashion, if you’re looking for an everyday outfit with a dose of understatement that you’ll only get from a modern classic, then pop into Windsor. This 300m² store is situated in the Kö-Bogen Passage running between the Königsallee and Hofgarten buildings. The brand traces its roots back to 1889. Initially specialising in men’s outerwear such as coats, trousers and jackets, it later began selling sports jackets and suits. They’ve since added a women’s collection too. The menswear range is still focused on superior tailoring and quality, but the interpretation is a little more casual. So the British royal family is no longer the main thing you associate with the Windsor name.
Sticking with the theme of modern classics, the Kö-Bogen Passage is home to two further leading lights. Graf von Faber-Castell offers high-quality desk accessories, while The Pashmina Shop features a range of beautiful scarves, notably in silk and cashmere. On the corner, you’ll then find the Porsche Design store with an extensive range of lifestyle products, all an impressive blend of form and function. And it’s not all about prestigious sports cars. Alongside purist men’s fashion and sportswear, the store presents a range of watches, eyewear and selected electronic gadgets, as well as bags and suitcases.
You’ll also find an excellent choice of the latter at the Düsseldorf flagship store of the American luggage brand, Tumi. With everything from trolley bags to briefcases and rucksacks, the products are renowned for their clever design and durability. Even Brad Pitt got his hands on one recently – in the action film Bullet Train, nearly everyone is chasing after a Tumi briefcase.
We now leave the Tumi store and pop into Joop next door. Set over two floors and covering around 400 square metres of bright, clean shopping space, the German label offers a range of women’s and men’s clothing, including accessories and the casual Joop Jeans line.
Luxury and character
At the beginning of September, it was time once more for the launch of the Düsseldorf fashionistas’ autumn/winter season at the legendary Breuninger Fashion Walk. The Landskrone was again transformed into a catwalk: models showcased the latest looks and trends on a floating runway on the water. This regular fashion event demonstrates exactly why the luxury Breuninger department store has been so successful with its concept. Luxury yes, glamour too. Yet, at the same time, informal and with style.
Straight away we feel completely at ease and welcome on the fifth floor of the designer-studded department store in the Hofgarten building. As soon as we go inside, our hunting instinct is awakened. How could it not be with such an impressive selection of big name luxury bags greeting us on the ground floor? When it comes to beauty too, there is nothing left to be desired – there’s an incredible range of fragrances as well as some great natural cosmetics. Today we’d like to know how to achieve the perfect glow, so we seek some advice from the friendly in-store sales staff.
On the first floor, it’s love at first sight: a plush furry coat in green, or grass green to be more precise – one of this season’s key colours. The pink oversized quilted jacket with a red lining is also right on trend. The male member of our party wants to buy a pair of sustainable trainers. We take the escalator up to the second floor, where it takes a while for us to finally find what we are looking for, as the selection on offer is so extensive. And it seems that the word has already spread about the impressively vast women’s shoe department in the basement.
In the men’s premium designer department on the third floor, there’s the smell of spray paint in the air. It’s because there’s currently an in-store presentation in which they are spraying a few hoodies. Cheerful shoppers cross our path – a group of over 50s chattering away excitedly, then a couple in their twenties holding hands. As you’d expect, the prices at Breuninger tend to be high, but the clientele is mixed, and this adds to its charm.
A touch of Sylt and the jungle
We’re back on the first floor now. Bratwurst with curry sauce and fries, washed down with a glass of champagne perhaps? Or would you prefer to round off your shopping trip to the Kö-Bogen with a few oysters? Just like the famous example on the island of Sylt, Sansibar by Breuninger combines North-Frisian gastro traditions with international cuisine. The concept was jointly developed by Breuninger and the team headed by Sansibar entrepreneur, Herbert Seckler. And, although the Sansibar in Düsseldorf offers views over Hofgarten Park instead of the sea, the cod on champagne cabbage and North American bison steak both taste great to us!
As we later walk into the sunset along the Königsallee, a flock of green rose-ringed parakeets shoots past us squawking loudly. Sometimes Mother Nature can surprise you like this, even in the centre of the city. No doubt a trip to the neighbouring Kö-Bogen II and Europe’s biggest green facade would have only added to this further. But we’ll save that for next time.
This article is supported by REACT-EU.
Images: Düsseldorf Tourism