Text description provided by the architects. The proposed office building on Plot 10 in Cologne’s historic Rheinauhafen harbour district occupies a prime waterfront position, situated between two fifteen-storey ‘crane house’ office towers. The building’s distinctive stepped elevation is designed to create a strongly sculptural presence while responding to the views across the harbour. In addition, all plant is accommodated within the building’s upper floor, freeing up the rooftop to become a fifth elevation which is directly overlooked by the adjacent towers.
The building’s energy-efficient panelised facade is characterised by a layered effect, featuring light-coloured anodised aluminium frames on the outer face of each panel and dark-coloured, opaque infills to the rear. This layered composition introduces an intriguing depth to the elevations while enhancing the verticality of the building overall. An exemplary sustainable services strategy optimises the use of passive building elements in conjunction with a minimal use of technology. This approach, combining simplicity with the utmost efficiency, has produced in a building which offers a 45% saving on the EnEV statutory requirement for primary energy consumption, resulting in a scheme which is as innovative as it is economically viable.