Laurenz Carré, Köln

The design for a commercial building in the heart of the city of Cologne, directly opposite the cathedral, picks up stylistic elements from the early years of the 20th century and combines them with a contemporary formal language. On building in such a prominent location in the city, Prof. Johannes Kister, shareholder of ksg and designer of the building complex, says: “In the round of buildings around Cologne Cathedral, each building should behave like an instrument in an orchestra: it should not stand out, but it should make its contribution to the harmony. The design achieves this through its proportions, formal language and a balanced relationship between the materials stone and glass.

Project data
1st price in the competition

Designer: Johannes Kister
Project Manager: Sandra Hortz

The new neighbour of the Cologne Cathedral

Colourfulness and elegance

A façade of green sandstone, profiles in brass and bronze tones and windows that round the corner of the building: Here, an elegant, restrained townhouse is created, but its plasticity makes it just as distinctive. The generally flat façade is given a sculptural modulation through cut-outs, reminiscent of the folds of heavy curtains. The building is structured by the three-dimensionality of its façade and its shadow casting effect. It lends the building a scale that, despite its broader development, ties in with the vertical proportions of the neighbouring buildings. Above the projecting cornice, which follows the rounded corners, the roof is covered with grey zinc sheeting up to the staggered storey. In this way, the staggered storey connects with the lower building and an overall structure is created.

District and granularity

The formal language developed for the building “Am Hof” is also continued to the south along the street “Unter Goldschmied”. Here, the theme of the rounded corner at the transition to the office building is used once again in order to identify it as an independent volume in the development of the “Unter Goldschmied” façades. The hotel, whose entrance faces the “Große Budengasse” and completes the block, is understood as a building that enters the urban space with its own design claim. The building’s heights, which are only adapted to the neighbouring building on the ground floor, create a clearly separated volume, which will manage the transition to the Senate Hotel opposite. The materiality and colour of the façades are used to create a certain neighbourhood identity between the two buildings.  In terms of urban planning, the aim is to develop two independent buildings that are visually connected to each other and reflect the granularity of the surroundings.