After 1945 the Cologne Rheinauhafen quickly lost in importance due to the construction of bigger ports. Soon, where countless cranes once swung cargo hectically, a wasteland gradually spread out. In the middle of the decommissioned site was a warehouse whose characteristic appearance gives the port its distinctive character: the Danziger Lagerhaus , in Cologne vernacular lovingly called “Siebengebirge` (Seven Hills). Prior to the reunification of Germany wheat was stored in the “Siebengebirge` warehouse as a national security reserve. For a long time it was thought that the Siebengebirge, with its special concrete skeleton, could not be rebuilt. Built in 1908-09 by Hans Verbeek, the great depth of the building in combination with the low height of the individual floors in particular begged the question of how to disperse sufficient natural light in the building and therefore how to market it successfully. The building called for an approach that would respect the building’s silhouette on the one hand while guaranteeing effective utilisation on the other hand. To keep changes to the heritage building to a minimum, kister scheithauer gross dispensed with integrating any atriums. The architects rather created generous waterfront living and commercial spaces through intelligent, open floor plans. Overall 130 flats as well as attractive business premises were created on 8 floors. On the landside, they left the original arrangement of windows virtually unaltered. On the waterside, after receiving approval from the authorities they grouped pairs of windows into foldable glass walls and set loggias behind them, thereby opening up the residences spaciously towards the Rhine.


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