New Directorate Cologne

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Cologne, Germany

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Lighting design

Licht Kunst Licht AG


kadawittfeldarchitektur and Graf + Graf Architects


EASA – European Aviation Safety Agency


Cologne, Germany


Johannes Roloff

ProductsHYDRA HD

 A harmony of historic and modern architecture

The former Directorate of German Railways is located in an open area, directly on the Rhine, and in the immediate vicinity of the Cologne Central Station and the Cologne Cathedral. It was rebuilt according to the design of the kadawittfeldarchitektur office in cooperation with Graf + Graf Architects. Based on the architecture, Licht Kunst Licht has planned a lighting concept that highlights the historic charm of the building with splendid light, while the light sources themselves always remain in the background.

Tradition meets modernernity – under this premise, the planners set out to redesign the former railway directorate, without neglecting the strong historical reference, yet still creating a modern appearance within the context of Cologne’s Rhine panorama. The renovation follows a fine line between the preservation of the listed building, its associated historical facade, and the creation of a completely new and modern roof level, whose silhouette pays homage to the original roof contour.

Special architectural and lighting features include the impressive entrance hall, the office spaces on the upper floors, and the conference room on the uppermost floor. In fact, the contours of the original mansard roof are restored here by a series of metal bands stepping upward. Due to the very minimal architecture and well planned lighting design, there is a spectacular view of Cologne Cathedral on one side and the Rhine with the Hohenzollern Bridge on the other side. The glass office facades recede behind the band-like aluminum cladding, so that even roof terraces could be realized. The uppermost conference room invites you to a 360° view over the rooftops of Cologne and can meet its various usage requirements via the different lighting scenes. The LED Linear™ luminaires from the VarioLED™ Flex HYDRA product family (HD36 in profile with round diffuse cover) are located in the ceiling coves. The simple courtyards in the core of the building impress visitors with huge art screens, and are featured with homogeneous and well shielded lighting.

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