Carré Belge Cologne
A green hotel between the Belgian district and Gerling quarter
ingenhoven architects are responsible for the overall concept for the change of use of Cologne’s former CAPITOL TV production facility to a hotel. Key elements of the project are the facade design of the existing building and an extension building in the inner courtyard. The central inner city site between the Belgian district and the Gerling quarter has been chosen for the development of a four-star boutique hotel. The new 186-room building will be constructed on a 4,000 square meter site and have six upper stories; the site is the inner courtyard of the CAPITOL precinct and will be accessed from Hohenzollernring. In addition, the project includes an attractive retail area with a gross floor area of 1,800 square meters, which will be partly accommodated in the existing CAPITOL building and partly in a new building in the inner courtyard.
Since its opening in 1929 and its reconstruction in 1954, the Capitol had been Cologne’s most important cinema. At the end of the 1990s the building became well known throughout Germany as the production facility of TV productions such as The Harald Schmidt Show and TV Total. Retaining the name, ingenhoven architects will provide a new face to the historic building. The guiding idea for the design is the image of a stacked pyramid as a green lung in the midst of the new CAPITOL hotel. This involves numerous offset planted terraces and floor-high windows on the side of the new hotel building facing the inner courtyard. The facade facing Hohenzollernring presents a prestigious address for the hotel, offices, and shops, featuring an elegant, transparent front building with an opening to the green inner courtyard of the building complex, both of which will attract the attention of passers-by. The new inner courtyard provides shade, traps dust particles, and—with its many plants—controls the humidity in the air. It is in the form of a protective square that absorbs noise and sound.
In terms of urban design, the new development will further enhance the attractiveness of the Hohenzollernring area. In addition, the new buildings are an appropriate development adjacent to the Belgian district.