NEUE DIREKTION, Cologne

 

Architects:   Kadawittfeldarchitektur and Graf + Graf Architekten
Client:   Hochtief Projektentwicklung
Occupant:   EASA - European Aviation Safety Agency
Completion:   2016
Project size:   30,000 sqm
Photos:   Johannes Roloff

 

 

Neue Direktion in Cologne – A modern office environment for the EASA


The Reichsbahndirektion Köln is to be found directly on the Rhine close to Cologne’s main train station and Cathedral. It has been remodelled by architectural studio kadawittfeldarchitektur in cooperation with Graf+Graf Architekten. The recent conversion successfully brings together the building’s listed status with its accompanying historic façade and a completely new roof level, which in turn takes its shape from the historic roof contour in its silhouette.

The consideration of the building’s historic status continues inside, with the imposing, historic entrance hall and staircases restored to their original condition. The lighting concept is planned in close accordance with the architecture of the building. With the light sources standing subtly in the background, brilliant light emphasises the historic charm of the building. The concept was also extended to incorporate the conference rooms to create a pleasant and refreshing working atmosphere with glare-free and punchy lighting, also allowing a very flexible use of open-plan working environments. In addition to the imposing entrance hall, the conference areas on the upper floors display further architectural and lighting highlights. Complementing the minimalist architecture and the adapted lighting, the breath-taking view of Cologne Cathedral stands to one side with the Rhine and the Hohenzollern Bridge on the other. Furthermore, the simple inner courtyards in the building's core are impressive with their giant artificial screens and are perfectly staged by homogeneous lighting.

Thanks to the rejuvenated directorate and the EASA, the city of Cologne has profited from almost 1,000 new jobs. The employees can now enjoy a successful combination of historic and modern architecture, which simultaneously succeeds in harnessing a balanced ratio between daylight and artificial light for optimal working conditions.