GAG headquarters

Cologne, Germany

The city district named Kalk is a former worker’s housing quarter that has been shaped historically by the chemical and metalworking industries. The demolition of the old factory building of the Chemical Works Kalk paved the way for the creation of new buildings and open spaces. Towards the south lie the Police Headquarter and the shopping mall Cologne Arcades, in the west of the development site a new administrative building, Köln Cubus I, has sprung up. North of the Corintostrasse the large DIY retailer BAUHAUS GmbH & Co. have opened a branch store. In 2009, in the east of the site, the large Civic Park Kalk with a size of 2.8 hectares was designed as a public green space and numerous residential building projects have been carried out since.

The development site with a size of 1.5 hectares has been designated to accommodate the GAG Headquarter, office spaces for a third-party lessor who at this stage is not yet known, as well as for residential buildings comprising 175 apartments.
A public walkway takes the inhabitants to their homes and employees to their offices. The walkway which benefits from a complete absence of motor traffic and features a plethora of different squares, gardens and places to linger in, relax or take a rest, leads from the water tower across the civic park to the quarter and on towards the metro stop in the north.

The new building for the real estate firm GAG Immobilien AG is not a formally strict administrative building but an open, communicative and light-drenched building which on the outside clearly identifies itself as the new headquarter, while providing a contemporary, human and efficiently organised office environment within.
Connected to the public walkway, the central concourse acts as the central distribution hub and represents the “heart” of the building, picks up references to its surroundings and joins up the different functions in the building. The idea of pulling the vibrant urban space into the building is intensified through communal spaces inside and outside of the building. Furthermore, the proposed layout provides a great flexibility and scope for later adaptation to new organizational structures.

Four individually designed building volumes house the residential apartments and at the same time create attractive exterior areas for the private gardens of tenants and sheltered play areas.

Location

Cologne, Germany

Architect

Behnisch Architekten, Stuttgart