Urban Soul, Bonn

New start for Bonn's city center

Right at the entrance to Bonn's city center, the Urban Soul design has created an inviting urban entrance that gives a formerly problematic location a new quality.
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Client
die developer Projektentwicklung GmbH, ZECH Bau SE
Status
Completed
Progress
2015-2020
Size
44.000
m2

The historic buildings in front of Bonn's main railway station were destroyed in the course of the light rail redevelopment in the 1970s. The new development of the area, which has only been partially realized since then, left a sensitive break in the urban fabric and shaped the first impression of rail travelers as the inner-city problem zone “Bonner Loch” - a place that was the subject of public discourse for many years.

After more than 45 years, the Urban Soul project offered the first opportunity to reactivate the unused potential of the site and give the city a new face.

With an ensemble of three buildings, CROSS Architecture developed a quarter that combines functional, design and neighborhood aspects. In the design planning, it was important to open up the lines of sight to Bonn's main railway station and to create paths and squares as places to linger in order to increase the quality of stay.

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Immediately in front of and next to the main railway station, buildings have been constructed that are oriented towards the grain of the block structure in Bonn's city center and thus blend harmoniously into the urban space. While the new station forecourt in front of the main station presents itself as an urban entrance at the transition to the city center, the intimate piazza on Maximilianstrasse presents itself as a sheltered, Mediterranean-style square with outdoor gastronomy.

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In addition to the residential and retail areas on Poststrasse and Maximilianstrasse, the restaurants and hotel on the piazza in particular contribute to the revitalization of the urban space. Modern office space facing the main railway station and an adjoining multi-storey parking lot on Rabinstrasse, which offers buildings opposite a high level of noise protection from rail traffic, complete the urban, hybrid mix of uses.

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Within the Urban Soul quarter, there are recurring details that quote the former historical situation. In addition to the exposed lines of sight to Bonn's main railway station, the façade of the hybrid building is an abstracted version of the former old building façade. The view of the hotel façade also shows a subtle but effective design feature with the rhythmically arranged, upward and downward swelling windows.

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The developer
What we particularly like about working with CROSS is the way in which they define and design inner-city space, always coming up with constructive solutions with an open mind. CROSS's design thrives on the idea of creating new contexts, for example through innovative usage concepts or newly defined path relationships. However, it also had to succeed in embedding the whole thing in the existing urban planning context. The area opposite the main railway station had been under discussion since the 1980s. Several plans were drawn up, but never implemented. In this respect, it also speaks volumes for the work of CROSS that this ambitious project has finally been realized.”
Client

diedeveloper Projektentwicklung GmbH, ZECH Bau SE

Acquisition

Concept award with negotiated procedure

Comission

Leistungsphase 1-5

Team

M. Sporer, C. Wens, J. Kranenburg, T. Mitschke, M. Engelen, K. Gerstein, G. Dengler, J. Spaltmann, J. Martinez Tafalla, L. Hermoso Heimansfeld, N. Jansen, V. van der Graft

Landscape Architects

GREENBOX Landschaftsarchitekten

Structural engineering

NAI Nagaraj Ingenieure, KKK Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH

Technical engineering

ZWP Ingenieur-AG

Fire safety

KKI Ingenieure

Building physics

TOHR Bauphysik GmbH & Co. KG, Bollinger Grohmann Ingenieure

Lighting design

Licht Kunst Licht

Photo

Jens Kirchner, Peter Weihs, Heike Weber, Walter Eul, Glasmalerei Peters