Kö-Bogen 2 Düsseldorf
Upgrade of an important urban space in Düsseldorf
The eye-catching concept for a new business and office development, for which ingenhoven architects won first prize in an international urban design competition in 2014, provides a new green heart in the north of Düsseldorf’s inner city. For 25 years, Christoph Ingenhoven has had a keen interest in the revitalization of this urban space which, as late as 2013, was still dominated by a flyover. The demolition of this structure nicknamed "Tausendfüßler" (the millipede) and the construction of an underground tunnel for motorized traffic created a new openness in the inner city.
The two-part ensemble is located between Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz, the Schadowstraße shopping mile, and the restructured Jan-Wellem-Platz. The stepped, planted facade of the main six-story building together with the turfed walk-on sloping roof of the second, triangular building, form a unique attraction. With their different heights, both buildings interact with the neighboring developments. These include in particular the curved Schauspielhaus theater by Bernhard Pfau and the elegant high-rise office building, known as the "Dreischeibenhaus", by Hentrich, Petschnigg & Partners.
Towards the Schauspielhaus theater and Hofgarten park, the new office and retail building shows continuous planting over the whole height of the building, including the sloping roof, providing a total of almost eight kilometers of hornbeam hedges. As part of the indigenous flora, which can also be found in many of the local public parks, this species is considered to be particularly robust. The green facades not only offer natural esthetics, but also an enhanced experience of space for all the senses. Furthermore, the lush vegetation serves as a natural means of cooling the atmosphere; it provides clean and humidified air and thus reduces the inner city heat effect. The planting will provide shade to the facades and act as a natural windbreak at the base of the neighboring high-rise building. In addition to these positive effects on the microclimate, this living facade brings to life the experience of the four seasons with their natural changes; it brings nature back into the city and also creates a space for people to pause and relax.
The turfed sloping roof of the second, triangular building, rises up to a height of ten meters nearest the Hofgarten and reads like a continuation of the adjacent Hofgarten park. With a gentle slope, the green roof invites passers-by to meet up or to simply relax and recuperate in the sun. In and around the building there will be grocery shops, restaurants, and gourmet outlets.
The sophisticated ensemble of the Kö-Bogen 2 buildings is now provisionally the end of an urban renewal project that ingenhoven architects has been involved with, producing studies, town planning designs, and several building projects. For a long period, this urban space was largely neglected. The newly created axis in the shape of a valley connects Jan-Wellem-Platz with Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz. Furthermore, the "Dreischeibenhaus" high-rise building and the Schauspielhaus theater are given an architectural frame and new vistas. The urban transition between shopping streets, the public park, and the two squares has been successfully achieved with a large and highly interactive ensemble. The development will upgrade the entire area, providing it with a new quality.