Conversion of a listed granary into residential & commercial space
Accolade to the State Prize “Living in North-Rhine Westphalia” (NRW wohnt) 2008
After WWII, Cologne’s Rhine Harbour quickly lost its importance. Where once great numbers of cranes were lifting their loads, the area gradually turned into a wasteland. In the middle of the then disused area, there was a characteristic grain store, which in the vernacular of Cologne is referred to – with affection – as “Siebengebirge” and which marks the now revitalized harbour with its well-known silhouette (that somehow reminds of a not too far chain of seven hills along the River Rhine)
For a long time the building with its steel frame, built in 1908/1909 by the architect Hans Verbeek, was not considered to be capable of repair. In particular the large depth of the building, combined with the low storey height, begged the question of sufficient natural light and successful marketing.
The building was in need of modernization, which on the one hand would respect the character of the building and on the other would guarantee the sustainability of use.
In order to reduce the interference in the listed building to a minimum, RhineScheme’s German partner practice ksg dispensed with providing widely used light-courtyards.
Eventually the architects created generously proportioned living areas by the water, through the use of intelligent, open layouts and through glazed balconies. In all, 130 flats were created on eight floors with attractive commercial areas on the ground floor along the newly created River Promenade.