In the media

Emsgalerie Rheine: ‘Ins Blaue hinein träumen‘ – Margriet Smulders



In 2016, project developer Hermann Klaas started the construction of a shopping center in Rheine (Germany). However, not everyone in the centuries-old trading town was waiting for a new building in the historic center. In order to convince the residents and make them proud of the complex, Klaas decided to create a special look that made shopping a real experience. With the help of a special interior and space for art, the shopping center became a major tourist attraction that now benefits the whole of Rheine.

At the request of his interior designer Thomas Schaper, Klaas visited the Markthal in Rotterdam. There he saw the impressive ceiling with his own eyes, the artwork that still generates an enormous amount of store traffic every year. To achieve his goal, he therefore called on the expertise of Mothership.




The shopping building in Rheine refers to a covered street. One side is adjacent to the city, the other to the River Ems. The complex consists of three connected building components. Each part has a suspended ceiling with acoustic panels and lighting.

The interior refers to elements from the history of the city: textile, trade, salt extraction and nature. Mothership was asked to develop a concept within this theme to realize the strong art ambition.

The ceiling proved to be the perfect place for a thematically coherent work of art consisting of three parts. The location in relation to the city and river, the history of Rheine and the possibility to make the three ceilings come together into one large work of art in relation to the interior design became the basis of the assignment that Mothership incorporated into the briefing.




Based on this briefing, three sketch designs were produced in a short time. Of the artists selected by Mothership, the client chose Margriet Smulders. She was partly inspired by a conversation with residents. With its opulent photographic water-flower sky interspersed with elements of local history, the three ceilings turned into a magical paradise: “Ins Blaue hinein traumen”.


Role of Mothership


Mothership developed the concept and supervised design, technical development, production and installation of the work. For example, both the artist and the client were very happy by the way Mothership organised and facilitated all tasks to reach the best final result.


Added value


The added value of art is particularly high in a public place like this.Because the artwork gives visitors something to look at extensively, whereby the duration of stay is extended, it offers shopkeepers the opportunity to sell merchandise with more chance of bigger sales. In addition, the popularity of the shopping center has increased and with it the value of real estate in the area. In the first year, no fewer than 4.9 million people visited the Emsgalerie. That is comparable to the Markthal in Rotterdam!

Our expertise in the field of adding economic value and social impact for the client, users and environment, has thus paid off for the client.  The press was also enthusiastic and the artwork is still eagerly shared on social media.