In an industrial section of Düsseldorf squats a relatively unremarkable yellow-tiled modernist-looking building. It looks like the sort of building that went up in the post-war reconstruction (the city was bombed nearly flat in night raids during WWII).
The building, however, betrays obvious categorizations. At first glance it seems easy to place on an historical continuum. But just as it could be from the fifties or sixties, it could just as easily be from the twenties or thirties. It may have miraculously survived the RAF’s gasoline bombs. Post-raid aerial survey photos would always reveal those few exclamation points of untouched buildings dotting the monochromatic wastes. Could this be one of those survivors? Is this why it looks so special sitting amidst the other unremarkable buildings of Mintropstrasse? Or maybe it’s the mere fact of the photograph that makes it special.
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Two overarching factors feed into the overarching principle of urban design: the vicinity of the terrain to a traffic-intensive street axis and the western railway line and the requirement for a high density of the resulting building. In response, Delugan Meissl Associated Architects, which won the competition for this urban master plan, characterized the new interpretation of the historic district as a compact block structure, which will enter into a dialogue with their environment and be well-connected with the surrounding urban fabric and its functional characteristics. More images and architects’ description after the break.
In a three-level peer review process that resulted in two first-prize winners, an urban planning concept was developed by J. MAYER H. Architects for the area of what was once the post office on Erkrather Strasse. The so-called “Quartier M” is to serve as the future link between the Hauptbahnhof central station and Tanzhaus NRW/Capitol, becoming a lively city quarter for living and working. In addition to offices and a hotel, the trend-setting urban design also provides for both privately financed and government subsidized public housing. Other plans include space for a day care center for children and service providers for the quarter. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Several hundred guests joined Daniel Libeskind in a ceremony last Friday as he laid the foundation stone of the Kö-Bogen building along with Dusseldorf’s Lord Mayor Dirk Elbers, investor Kurt Zech of Zech Group, and project developer Stefan H. Muehling. The stainless steel foundation stone, designed by Libeskind, will be visibly integrated into the facade of the building.
The new 432,300 sqf mixed use building is scheduled for completion in 2013 will house both office and retail space in downtown Dusseldorf. The design of Kö-Bogen intends to naturally blend landscape into the building space through geometry, permeated cuts in the facade, the green courtyards, and green roof system. All of these elements are ‘part of a new environment that bridges urban space with park space’.