Projects

Neue Direktion

Train of Thoughts -
Flying wings on rising columns

Typology office Construction volume GFA 30,000 m² (incl. underground garage), GV 119,300 m³ Client HOCHTIEF Projektentwicklung GmbH, Niederlassung Rhein-Ruhr, Cologne Final investor Commerz Real AG, Düsseldorf Tenant EASA – European Aviation Safety Agency Cooperation kadawittfeldarchitektur with Graf + Graf Architekten Realization 2013-2016 Competition 1st prize 2012 Certificate DGNB Gold

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#The conversion of the former railway head office into the new EASA Headquarters

The new roof design has led to the recreation of the historic mansard roof as well as the generation of terraces with views of the Rhine River that are set between the metal bands surrounding the roof storeys and the set-back office facades.

Photo Jens Kirchner

The former railway head office is on Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer immediately opposite the Rhine River and in immediate vicinity of Cologne’s main railway station, the cathedral and the city centre.
The design takes the existing listed structure, including the historic facades, into consideration and develops a contemporary, modern solution for the pre-war mansard roof structure, which now forms a distinct contrast to the historic features below. Metal bands envelop the four roof storeys and trace the slope of the historic roof contours that characterised the Rhine River silhouette of the cathedral city for many years. The glass facades beyond the bands do not follow the original sloped roofline but are set perpendicular to the floor plates. This feature generates deep, much-appreciated terraces in the surrounding space offering panoramic views across the city. The listed facade of the lower storeys is upgraded; the impressive historical entrance hall is rebuilt and incorporated into the new build. They all fulfil the requirements of modern flexible office space and offer different office layout concepts ranging from single cell units to business lounges.

Jens Kirchner

Metal bands envelop the four roof storeys and trace the slope of the historic roof contours that characterised the Rhine River silhouette of the cathedral city for many years.

Rendering HH Vision HochTiefProjektentwicklung GmbH
Photo Stefan Schilling

There are visual links to the cathedral, the bridge Hohenzollernbrücke, the opposite riverbank as well as beyond the Rhine bend to the more distant office buildings and the Cologne Trade Fair, Koelnmesse.

Clearly visible from the other side of the river, Neue Direktion Köln is an important landmark within Cologne’s urban landscape.

Photo Jens Kirchner

Since the main design aim was to find a feasible and sustainable solution, it was only possible to retain certain elements of the historic structure, including individual features from the interior and the exterior facade. In the new build, the exterior wall continues to function as a structural element, also bearing the loads of the new additional floor slabs.

Cross section
Photo Jens Kirchner
Jens Kirchner

The impressive, historical entrance hall has been integrated into the new build in its original state. All of the interior elements, either listed or worth retaining, were recorded before the construction work began. They were then carefully dismantled, stored and put back into place after performing extensive restoration work.

Photo Jens Kirchner
Photo Jens Kirchner

The design and colour scheme of the open and flexible office landscape in the building interior is based on kadawittfeldconsult’s concept “Sky over Cologne”.

Photo Jens Kirchner
Photo Jens Kirchner
Photo Jens Kirchner