Vocational College of the Archbishopric
Polygonal Exterior, Organic Interior – Multilayered Light in the Vocational College of the Archbishopric Cologne
Inaugurated in summer 2016, the Vocational College of the Archbishopric Cologne is now one of the most important educational facilities for social professions in North Rhine-Westphalia and unites formerly three schools. In 2012, the Cologne based architectural office 3pass Architekten won the competition as part of an architectural peer review process. The design pivot was and is an organically shaped atrium that forms the project’s heart, circulation area, meeting place, auditorium and light well.
The atrium is also the core element of the lighting concept. In order to emphasize the space’s multilayered characteristic, the atrium’s rear walls have been illuminated with continuous concealed grazing light profiles. The balustrade edge contains organic recesses with wood fillings that shroud adjustable track-mounted projectors. Through the fillings’ apertures, they illuminate the auditorium and the sculptural stairs.
In the library, the shelf lighting designed by the interior design office Keggenhoff occurs entirely from the furniture itself. Only in the periphery, following the generous facade fenestration, the illumination of the reading desks is provided by downlights and task lights.
The grooves of the scaled ceiling panels of the cafeteria are visually detached from one another by means of a touch of light. A seating niche is emphasized through grazing light. The remaining spatial illumination occurs through recessed adjustable downlights that engender a concentrated brilliant presence of the cafeteria tables.
All class rooms are lit by continuous, slender, low-glare lighting profiles. They follow the facade contours in three tracks that can be perceived from the outside as staggered outlines.
Outdoors, light steles with a rotational symmetric light distribution illuminate the forecourt. Near the facade, the paths are fitted with grazing light located at the base of elongated benches. Selected trees are gently uplit by in-ground recessed luminaires in the planters.
Generally, the lighting design contributes greatly to the visual mediation of the architecture, crisp and polygonal on the outside, soft and organic on the inside. It skillfully sculpts the spatial envelope and contributes to making the visual layers tangible