Mall of Switzerland: The name says it all. And indeed the shopping mall and leisure center with a usable area of 65,000 m2 in Ebikon near Lucerne is an outstanding project for the whole of Switzerland. Its trademark: a facade like a soft, translucent flowing skin that arouses the emotions. It is scheduled to be opened in November 2017.

The investors are aiming to create a unique destination featuring, as it does, a combination of shopping, gastronomy, entertainment, wellness and living. They are expecting to attract people from all over the region as well as tourists. Attractions such as the surfing wave simulator and the multiplex movie theater with twelve auditoriums and the largest IMAX screen in Switzerland are likely to turn a visit into an unforgettable experience.

When renting out the approximately 150 business premises, the operators are setting store by local retailers, regional products and Swiss brands. The venture will be creating around 1,000 jobs. There is a freeway junction close by so that visitors and employees enjoy direct access.

Copper + FO = new options

Providing the building complex with a strong communication infrastructure was a challenge. Expansive areas had to be networked. The plan was for all tenants and visitors to enjoy optimal conditions. For example, the mall offers a full-coverage high-speed WLAN, digital payment systems and video surveillance.

A further goal of planning was to supply end devices with Power over Ethernet as a standard – which required copper cabling. «The structured building cabling was originally supposed to be based entirely on copper,» remembers Roland Bachmann, electro project lead at total contractor Halter AG.

Over the course of the project, however, totally new possibilities arose. Thanks to a Swisscom initiative, fiber-optic cabling inside the building also became an option. It was when Swisscom teamed up with R&M on product development that the breakthrough came. The change of plan meant that the project partners had to demonstrate their flexibility and extended expertise – something they mastered superbly.

Everything from a single source

R&M had already been selected as supplier of the copper cabling. «Various companies were approached. But with a key project of this kind, there are not many suppliers that can deliver. We were looking for a manufacturer who can offer everything from a single source,» says Andreas Spörli, project lead at installation partner Swisspro AG, explaining why the company opted for R&M.

Ultimately the key criteria were the wide standard range for structured building cabling, the quality of the products as well as the warranty and services provided. And the R&M range is also perfect for Power over Ethernet. For Roland Bachmann it was above all the quality that clinched it. He describes his trust in R&M in a very straightforward way: «What can go wrong if you choose R&M?» Another positive factor was the fact that R&M, as a partner of Swisscom, could also supply the products for the optical access side.

The right cable

In spite of the change of plan, around 200 kilometers of copper cable were laid. Due to the long cable lengths, Cat. 7A cables with an AWG 22 cross-section from the R&Mfreenet range were laid throughout. «The cable diameter was an area of concern,» says Andreas Spörli. «With such long links and when using Power over Ethernet, you have to use the right cable, not the least expensive».

With a wire cross-section of AWG 22, voltage drop and heat development are limited. Maximum use can be made of both applications – data transmission and Power over Ethernet. At the same time, the Cat. 7A cabling is capable of guaranteeing data rates of more than one gigabit per second long term. Another reason for choosing R&M.

«Just in time» required

With a key project of this kind, there are not many suppliers that can deliver. R&M has a wide standard range, is well known and has an important role to play due to the quality of the products as well as the warranty and services provided.

Andreas Spörli, Project Lead at Swisspro AG

The rest of the project was no less exciting. Roland Bachmann reports: «We don’t have extensive access here and have to pass each other quickly. And for the supplier that means «just in time» is key.» Andreas Spörli confirms that the collaboration with R&M was successful under these conditions: «The material was always on time, even when things were a bit tight in terms of time. Special requirements were fulfilled efficiently.» «Everything was great,» says Roland Bachmann.

Philip Kiefer, overall project lead for Mall of Switzerland at Halter AG, is very confident about the owners approving the building. The property is due to be handed over on October 27, with the official opening planned for November 7, 2017. «Everything works according to plan.»

The Mall of Switzerland

Strong emotions. Strong Swiss vitality. Daring design. This is the Mall of Switzerland. With its light facade resembling a soft, flowing skin, it is a new magnet in Ebikon near Lucerne. The architects from Burckhardt + Partner AG deliberately created an arc of suspense between the organic shape of the mall and the more quadratic neighboring buildings.

The auspicious name Mall of Switzerland is a promise and arouses expectations. Based on the vitality and diversity of Switzerland, the guiding idea was to create a realm of facets, genuine Swissness, interpretations of Swiss values and innovations, paired with classy understatement. Original materials, such as oak and elm, terrazzo, asphalt and quartz, are a link to the naturalness of the country. Traditional Swiss graphic elements are to be found in modern wall patterns. The design concept conveys the atmosphere and feel of Switzerland. Inside, you get the impression that this is a downtown area that has evolved naturally.

The pioneering concept unites around 150 shops and restaurants/bars with a children’s area, leisure and sporting facilities, such as the first indoor wave simulator in Switzerland, the largest IMAX screen in the country and a multiplex movie theater with 12 auditoriums.