• Hermeskeiler Platz, Köln
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closed competition, 1st prize 2017

Awarding authority: Wohnungsgesellschaft der Stadtwerke Köln mbH

project team: Jens Jakob Happ, Elvis Hot, Maximilian Brylla, Ann Klar

cooperation with: HKK Landschaftsarchitekten GmbH


The Hermeskeiler Platz square in Cologne is a vivacious central spot of the Sülz borough south of the inner city and the last stop of the tram-line 9. The new buildings, an ensemble of three houses and a kindergarten, line the block with clear shaped in- and exteriors. A total of 40 affordable rental spaces are available for employees of the Cologne Transit Authority (KVB). The four-storied mixed usage structure has a strongly modeled south facade towards the square, setting it apart from the surrounding, rather nondescript postwar buildings. It faces the square with five facade axes. Segmented arches span across the ground floor arcade walk and the loggias of the living floors are vertically connected, ending with a round arch respectively. The arcade provides shelter for the ground floor shops. Right above it, three floors offer attractively cut one- to three-room apartments, fitted with generous loggias towards the square. The 5-storied houses on the Hermeskeiler Straße feature a more reduced, streamlined look,  visually divided into two units. Punctuated facades with upright window formats face the street while the apartments open towards the inner yard with generously glazed, southeast facing living rooms. Light-colored brick facing marks the base, creating a stabilizing foundation as well as a visual link to the public spaces around the square and at the tram stop. Above, the facades gleam with a toned white plaster finish.