Offices and residential at Maternusplatz, Cologne
1st prize Urban design competition 2001
Photos: Jens Willebrand, Photo inside: Christa Lachenmaier
Maternusplatz has always been the urban focus of the Rodenkirchen borough, which was officially incorporated as part of Cologne in the 1980s. The new ensemble of buildings forms the square’s western end and provides it with a sense of urban intimate cohesion. The new structures effortlessly insert themselves into their context as simple and clear volumes. Playfully positioned windows, whose soffits sculpturally protrude form the plaster façade, are a conspicuous characteristic. Inactive traffic is hidden in an underground garage below the square. Geometrically positioned plants dot the paved square. The result is a universally usable urban space that invites longer stays and makes farmers’ markets and outdoor eateries possible. The stacking of the building ensemble communicates between the village structure and the urban texture.