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A new identity

for Cologne's landmark building


Client: Hochtief Projektentwickung GmbH / Location: Cologne / GFA: 61,500 m² / Completed: 2012 / Façade competition: 1st prize 2009 / Green Building: DGNB Gold / Awards: Immobilienmanager Award 2013 category "Project Developer existing building"

Services: Architecture, Interior DesignRevitalisation

Second Life
The former Lufthansa tower on the Deutz bank of the Rhine, which dates back to the 1970s, has been revitalised not only to give it a new, contemporary appearance, but also to enhance its functional qualities as the corporate headquarters for Lanxess, the user, and to provide a new urban environment for the general public.

Kennedyplatz at the heart of maxCologne
Exterior maxCologne staircase

"The revitalisation has also made it possible to correct the existing urban structure a little."

Remigiusz Otrzonsek, Senior Partner HPP

Change of identity
The aim of the extensive construction measures was to transform the existing building mass into two independent structures with a new common identity. The building ensemble consists of a high-rise building with 22 upper storeys and a half-timbered building, known as the Rheinetagen, comprising 11 storeys. With the help of new extensions at all levels, the tower will be re-proportioned and vertically structured. 

Towards a New Mobility
Originally, both buildings were connected on the lower floors by parking decks - based on the prevailing attitude of the 70s - oriented towards a car-friendly city. With today's ideal of a low-traffic city, the basic idea of the revitalisation consisted of dismantling the car park in favour of greater quality of life within the urban space.

Reclaimed urban space
Based on this concept, a new quarter is emerging between the tower block, the Rheinetagen and the neighbouring St. Heribert monastery, in the middle of which, Kennedyplatz will form a new public square. Splitting the building into a skyscraper and an adjoining block creates unrestricted lines of sight between Deutzer Freiheit and the river embankment. With its new relationship to its urban surroundings, the office building now performs an additional function in the context of the concept of revitalising the left bank of the Rhine.

"maxCologne is a good example of how revitalisation can make a contribution to the overall development of the city."

Remigiusz Otrzonsek, Senior Partner HPP
Glasfassade maxCologne
Fassadendetail maxCologne

New lightness
The new glass façade spanning both sections ensures a uniform and unique appearance for the ensemble. The lightness and transparency of the glass façade is articulated by a horizontal joint in to the ceiling slabs. Due to the double-shell structure, a high level of sound insulation and sustainable thermal insulation is achieved. The overall concept, has been DGNB Gold certified for its energy efficiency.

Looking out from the cutout
The tower is crowned by two staggered storeys featuring generous roof terraces. The block structure extending towards the Rhine is given a new appearance by means of the crisp edge of the building and a distinctive flying roof. With views of the cathedral and Cologne's old town, large terraces are laid out in the upper seven levels of the eleven-storey Rheinetagen.

Reduced and forward-looking
The interior design concept is based on clear forms, reduced materiality and the colours are based on the Lanxess corporate identity colours: black and white. To date, the lighting concept based entirely on LEDs is the only one of its kind in Germany in an office building, setting a pioneering standard in terms of sustainability. Changes to the basic layout structure change the open-plan character of the building with a view to more flexible use with various partitioning options.

Rhein mit dem maxCologne auf der rechten Seite

The urban potential of the space that used to be occupied by the above-ground multi-storey car park, is now being realised in the form of the new Kennedyplatz.

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