Three architectural highlights from Cologne
With its over 2000 years of history, Cologne has a lot to offer architecturally. Over and over again, the cityscape is interrupted by new architectural impulses, such as the Mediapark on the site of the old freight depot or the old "Rheinuferhafen", which has been transformed into a modern and architecturally unique city district. And yet the people of Cologne attach great importance to the preservation of historic building fabric and a mixture of different architectural styles. These three architectural highlights also stand for this.
Year of opening: 2007
Architect: Peter Zumthor
It's striking: Today's art museum of the Archdiocese of Cologne is based on the ruins of the parish church of St. Kolumba, which was destroyed in World War II. Existing and new building materials are seamlessly combined in the sense of a "living museum". The surviving fragments of the destroyed church were integrated into the new structure using specially fired ocher-colored bricks, allowing the natural and brick masonry to blend together seamlessly and reflect the history of the site. The museum's open-plan interior is characterized by changing light conditions; artificial light sources are completely absent here. The floor-to-ceiling glass windows, on the other hand, create the impression that inside and outside are blurred. The filter masonry wraps itself around the church ruins like a light- and air-permeable skin.
Cologne Oval Offices
Year of opening: 2010
Architects: Sauerbruch Hutton
Eye-catching: 43,000 m² of office space is contained in the building ensemble, which consists of two curved structures and, thanks to its design, implements a concept without corners and edges. Thanks to different building depths, the room sizes can be adapted to the individual needs of the tenants. A special highlight are the colored glass facade/sun protection elements in front of the approximately 2,500 floor-to-ceiling windows. Depending on their position and the incidence of light, the different shades of red and green alternate and give the facade its unmistakable appearance. Integrated daylight sensors and sunshade flaps enable optimum control of the interior climate of the offices and create a favorable energy balance.
Year of opening: Kranhaus 1: 2008 / Kranhaus Süd: 2009 / Kranhaus Nord: 2010
Architects: Alfons Linster, architects Bothe, Richter, Teherani
Eye-catching: In complete harmony with the old harbor area on the banks of the Rhine, the silhouettes of the 62-meter-high crane houses are reminiscent of harbor cranes, whose construction was only made possible by expertise in bridge-building technology. At a height of 40 meters, a two-part cantilever extends toward the banks of the Rhine, seemingly supported only by a glass stair tower. This appearance is made possible by a prestressed concrete structure inside the buildings that supports the dead weight of the "cantilever". The construction method not only helped to create the unusual shape of the harbor cranes, but also solved the structural challenges. With around 1,600 m² of usable space, Crane Houses 1 and South have offered office space since 2009, while Crane House North has been a luxury residential building with 133 condominiums since 2010.