Too good to go: rethinking built heritage for the future
  • Location
  • Project
    Revitalization of a high-rise office building with underground car park and extension of the low-rise building
  • Client
    MOMENI Gruppe
  • Architect of record
    Caspar Schmitz-Morkramer
  • Technical building equipment
    Winter Beratende Ingenieure für Gebäudetechnik GmbH, Düsseldorf
  • Structural engineering
    Schüßler-Plan Ingenieurgesellschaft, Düsseldorf
  • Landscape architecture
    KRAFT.RAUM, Krefeld
  • Facade planning/Building physics
    Drees & Sommer, Köln
  • Planning and construction period
  • Service phases
    1–5a + artistic supervision
  • Gross floor area (AG/BG)
    22,000 m²
  • Visualizations
  • Photos

The tall office building, accompanied by its expansive flat side extension, was ideally situated: Golzheim is a well-connected and diverse neighborhood. In 2019, we collaborated with the MOMENI Group, residents, and local stakeholders in the “Westlich Kennedydamm” workshop to envision the area’s future development, considering various usage needs and conditions. Building upon this groundwork, we set out to rejuvenate the former Nordstern insurance company branch. Functionally, the building was well designed by Philipp Holzmann AG and built in 1973 to high standards. But in many ways, it had become dated. We embarked on a comprehensive reprogramming of the existing structure for MOMENI, resulting in LYGHT – a revitalized space meeting green building standards – offering greater comfort, sustainability, outdoor connectivity, greenery, and an additional ca. 1,500 additional square meters of space.

A Robust Structure

We discovered an ensemble comprising a 12-story high-rise slab with a technical floor and an adjoining two-story base building with an inner courtyard. Preserving the entire reinforced concrete structure and stairwell cores allowed us to save a good 19,000 tons of CO2 emissions. The low-rise building will be expanded by one floor to accommodate five office units. Extending the ground floor will create a spacious lobby connecting to both access cores and the inner courtyard. This area will serve as more than just a reception; it becomes the building’s centerpiece, enhancing orientation and quality of stay. The third-floor roof terrace adds a valuable amenity. The high-rise will house office spaces across its 12 usage levels, with one unit per floor, while another roof terrace will crown the building as a sky garden. Implementing the new technology concept presented challenges, such as integrating external ventilation ducts from the facade within the interior. Our flexible grid allows for customizable office layouts, accommodating anything from classic cellular offices to modern New Work concepts or open office landscapes.

“The district is changing dynamically and LYGHT will further enhance the potential of the neighbourhood by creating a strong connection between the outside and the inside.”

Fabio Di Franco
More Greenery

The new facade transforms LYGHT into a landmark ensemble within the urban landscape, embodying a forward-looking and dynamic structure. The outer shell appears light and transparent, with floors legible through a delicate horizontal pattern accentuated by slim vertical aluminum bands. Extending beyond the top floor, the facade creates a sheltered outdoor space, designed as a landscaped sky garden. The upgraded double-skin facade, now equipped with floor-to-ceiling windows, coupled with revamped building systems, significantly enhances sustainability. An electric sun shading system positioned between the facades ensures individual comfort at workstations, complemented by user-openable window sashes along each side within the control range. Surrounding LYGHT, we’re introducing 1,500 square meters of green open spaces and terraces, including rooftop areas – a significant contribution to the microclimate and workplace comfort in this urban environment. To enhance the building’s energy autonomy, photovoltaic modules are integrated into the stairwell facade. WiredScore awarded LYGHT Platinum certification for its advanced digital infrastructure, smart connectivity, and digitality.

Project team