Unter Sachsenhausen is steeped in banking tradition. We are ushering in a new era.
  • Location
  • Project
    Renovation of two listed buildings and construction of a new office building with restaurants and commercial premises
  • Client
    MOMENI Gruppe
  • Architect of record
    Caspar Schmitz-Morkramer
  • Planning and construction period
    as of 2019
  • Service phases
  • Gross floor area
    22,000 m²
  • Visualizations
    MOMENI Gruppe | moka-studio
  • Photos

Just a stone’s throw away from Cologne Cathedral lies Unter Sachsenhausen, a street renowned for its concentration of established banks. The architecture is suitably imposing: heavy stonework and prestigious facades, with access typically limited to clientele. In 2019, MOMENI commissioned us to develop an entire block on this street, and with SACHS, change is underway on Unter Sachsenhausen. Through ESG-compliant construction, we are creating around 20,000 square meters of high-quality office spaces across two listed existing buildings and a new structure. Complemented by restaurants and a publicly accessible green courtyard, we are transforming the block into a vital urban hub. Three distinct architectural generations come together into a stylish ensemble, each building contributing its unique qualities. This healthy mix is key to securing the future of our city centers. Our goal is to open up spaces, invite community participation, and foster an environment where life here offers more.

“With the three-part Sachs ensemble, we are creating an urban development highlight in the historic banking district. Three addresses with different characters under one roof, with the inner courtyard as a ‘pocket park’ and connecting element to extend the public space.”

Three Generations Converge

The ensemble includes two listed buildings. Unter Sachsenhausen 2 was built in 1914 by the Rheinisch-Westfälische Boden-Credit-Bank (architects: Bielenberg & Moser). This three-story corner building features a two-story slate-covered hipped roof and a representative stone facade typical of that era. In 1953, Sal. Oppenheim closed off the adjacent west flank with a six-story bank building (architect: Fritz August Breuhaus de Groot). Under Sachsenhausen 4 presents a much more modern aesthetic, with a minimalist natural stone facade significantly reduced in decor. The staggered story is a unique design element, originally housing a garage served by a courtyard. To complete the block at the northeast corner of Stolkgasse/Enggasse, we are introducing a new six-story energy-optimized building featuring two staggered floors. For the finely profiled, rear-ventilated stone facade, we are utilizing green natural stone. Our design marks a fresh chapter for Cologne’s banking district – characterized by lighter, brighter architecture.

Gaining Space and Openness

We view the three SACHS buildings as an ensemble and aim to enhance the usability and accessibility of the courtyard nestled between them. By removing non-essential elements, we created space for single-story pavilions that will be used by the restaurants occupying the basement levels of the old buildings. The use of green natural stone will again add a sense of refinement, while potted plants green the courtyard. This secluded inner sanctuary, shielded from the city’s hustle and bustle, serves not only as an invitation for visitors of SACHS but is also accessible to the public from Unter Sachsenhausen via a new passageway integrated into the rhythm of the stone facade. We are restoring components deemed worthy of conservation by the monument authorities – including the cashier’s hall, stairwells, and lobbies – and integrating them into the new usage. Some elements, like the patented vault building door by the imperial court art locksmith, will be preserved for museum purposes – nothing tells the history of this building better.

New Work Environments

Each SACHS building has its own address and a prestigious entrance from the street, along with an additional barrier-free entrance accessible via the courtyard. The ground levels all around offer ample space for restaurants, boutiques, or galleries, contributing to the neighborhood’s vibrancy well beyond office hours. The concept for the upper floors of all three buildings is flexible, accommodating both classic layouts with individual offices and group rooms as well as agile office landscapes with diverse spatial offerings, aligning with tenant preferences. For convenient access, the three SACHS buildings are interconnected internally at multiple points. We are pursuing LEED certification for sustainability and WiredScore certification for state-of-the-art technical infrastructure.

Project team
  • Marcus Melsa
  • Guido Roth
  • Fidelius Bezzenberger
  • Nadine Böttcher
  • David Eguavoen
  • Ayse Elmas
  • Bernd Ernst
  • Engin Esen
  • Melanie Fior
  • Carina Fricke
  • Roman Funk
  • Beate Groß
  • Maja Hanke
  • Timo Heinzmann
  • Kai Hesse
  • Jan Hofmann
  • Marcel Jansen
  • Klaus Kirchner
  • Jana Klindworth
  • Boris Krusenotto
  • Sebastian Lietz
  • Michael Meier
  • Martin Mellis
  • Sven Michels
  • Mareike Müller
  • Felix Nebelin
  • Miriam Nguan
  • César Nieto Santamarina
  • Sebastian Oertel
  • Julia Pagels
  • Ana Rocha Forjaz
  • Michel Schütten
  • Simon Sierra
  • Hyongyong Song
  • Claus Spitzer
  • Johannes van Linn
  • Verena Wagner
  • Katrina Westphal
  • Martin Winkler
  • Jakob Wogrolly