Machabäerstrasse 19–27
A Building with History and a Future
  • Location
  • Project
    Revitalization, addition, and vertical extension of an office building
  • Client
    Köln Machabäerstraße Zwei GmbH & Co. KG c/o Art-Invest Real Estate Management Co. KG
  • Architect of record
    Caspar Schmitz-Morkramer
  • Project controlling
    SMV Bauprojektsteuerung Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH, Cologne
  • Technical building equipment
    A+K, Alhäuser + König Ingenieurbüro, Hachenburg
  • Structural engineering
    AWD Ingenieure, Cologne
  • Fire protection
    hhpberlin, Berlin
  • Landscape architecture
    KRAFT.RAUM, Düsseldorf
  • Facade planning
    Drees & Sommer, Cologne
  • Building physics
    vRP, von Rekowski und Partner – Ingenieurbüro für Bauphysik, Weinheim
  • BIM management
    BitsAndBricks, Stuttgart
  • Sustainability consultant
    Werner Sobek, Stuttgart
  • Construction period
  • Service phases
  • Gross floor area (AG/BG)
    19.376 m²/2.869 m²
  • Visualizations

It’s just a five-minute walk from Machabäerstrasse to the Cologne Cathedral. At this prime location, we are leading the modernization, revitalization, and extension of an existing building with remarkable intrinsic value for Art-Invest. The building, which encloses an atrium, had a construction history that was barely visible from the outside. Originally designed in 1926 by Cologne architect Carl Moritz for a local health insurance company (Allgemeine Ortskrankenkasse Köln), the structure was rebuilt in a simplified form after suffering damage during the war, and later served as a radiation institute. In 1974, a typical facade of that era was added, which obscured the building’s original intricate design. Our goal is to transform the existing building into a highly flexible, modular, and sustainable office space with sophisticated conference areas and ecological benefits for the city and its residents.

Preserving Intrinsic Values

We are expanding the existing building (which is not landmarked) across its entire width along Turiner Strasse with an adjoining block-shaped structure, primarily constructed from timber. After removing the ceiling of the top floor (currently the fourth), we will add a new level with a terrace overlooking the cathedral. All roof surfaces will be extensively greened. With new, sculpturally designed facades featuring clinker brick, wood, and extensive windows, we are structuring the building’s cubature to harmonize with the neighborhood’s character, creating two distinctly designed frontages. We are reducing the size of the central atrium with an installation on the northern end and adding a new glass roof above the ground floor. New access cores will enable barrier-free access throughout the entire building. As part of our mobility concept, we are introducing “Bike World” on the basement level – a bicycle garage with over 400 parking spaces, a bicycle workshop, showers, and changing rooms.

Our aim is to preserve as many original features of the building as possible despite extensive refurbishment, carefully restoring and integrating them into the contemporary design. These original features include the floors, wall cladding, and stairs – all in natural stone – along with the ceiling ornamentation and high-quality handcrafted plaster surfaces.

Enhanced Spaces for a Quality Stay

The building will now have two entrances. The entrance on Machabäerstrasse will feature a central entrance with three glass portals, strikingly set one-and-a-half floors high into the brick facade. Its arched design is a modern interpretation of Moritz’s original concept, gracefully guiding visitors into the historic entrance hall. From there, a grand staircase leads to the former cashier’s hall on the mezzanine floor. An open “meet and greet area” is planned here, connecting the atrium, flanking stairwells, and the office and reception areas on Machabäerstrasse. The second entrance is located in the extension on Turiner Strasse. It provides access to the central conference area, the staircase for the office units on the upper floors, and the two-story “Gartrium.” This hybrid garden-atrium, lushly planted with greenery, is set back half a story along the Turiner Strasse facade. Floor-to-ceiling glazing allows daylight to penetrate deep into the building. A café/bistro directly connects to the central atrium, with an elevated terrace situated in the sheltered courtyard within the block’s interior. The adjoining roof areas of the basement will be intensively greened. Three office rental units are planned for each of the 1st to 4th floors, with two self-contained but interconnectable units on the 5th floor. Our goal is to create spaces with exceptional quality of stay, including well-designed open spaces in the workplaces. The new roof terrace will be partly covered with a shady, airy pergola, while other roof areas will be greened and equipped with discreet photovoltaic elements.

Project team
  • Holm Bethge
  • Fabio Di Franco
  • Azadeh Najib
  • Aline Ackermann
  • Marlène Assié
  • Daniel Behnke
  • Sebastian Deweranda
  • Jinju Dücker
  • Maximilian Eberhardt
  • Jutta Göttlicher
  • Kai Hesse
  • Ilse Kampers
  • Onurcan Sabri Kurt
  • Alexander Lisboa
  • Corinna Masi
  • Philipp Meise
  • Xhesika Osmani
  • Jonas Ritgen
  • Nevena Simic
  • Stephan Wieland