Vertikum
Elegant corner property offering office and commercial space on Berliner Allee
  • Location
    Düsseldorf
  • Project
    New construction of a high-rise office and commercial building
  • Procedure
    1st Prize Quality assurance procedure
  • Client (SP 0–4 | 2017–2020)
    Warburg-HIH Invest Real Estate GmbH vertreten durch HIH Real Estate GmbH
  • Client (SP 5 | 2021–2023)
    Freundlieb Bauunternehmung GmbH & Co. KG/Convalor Projektpartner GmbH
  • Architect of record
    Caspar Schmitz-Morkramer
  • General contractor
    Freundlieb Bauunternehmung GmbH & Co. KG, Dortmund
  • Project controlling
    WITTE Projektmanagement, Düsseldorf (SP 1–5)
  • Technical building equipment
    HTW Ingenieurgesellschaft, Düsseldorf
  • Structural Engineering
    AWD Ingenieure, Köln
  • Fire Protection
    Ökotec, Schwalmtal
  • Building physics
    DS-Plan, Düsseldorf
  • Traffic planning
    Brenner BERNARD Ingenieure, Köln (SP 1–5)
  • Light planning
    AG Licht, Bonn
  • Facade
    Jura Poros, Hofmann Naturstein, Köln
  • Construction period
    2022–2023
  • Service phases
    1–5, 8 (artistic supervision)
  • Gross floor area (AG/BG)
    4,734 m²/542 m²
  • General tenant
    SMP Strategy Consulting
  • Photos
    HGEsch
  • This project is from the joint period of meyerschmitzmorkramer.

Since the demolition of the Tausendfüssler, an elevated highway built in the early 1960s, Düsseldorf’s dense city center has undergone dramatic transformation. Public spaces have been reclaimed, reinterpreted, and linked with historic parks, prominent cultural sites, and popular shopping destinations. Car traffic was moved underground, making way for pedestrians and cyclists to experience urbanity in a refreshing new way. As you drive through the Kö-Bogen Tunnel from north to south, you’ll emerge near St. John’s Church, greeted by a short, sudden, expansive view that might catch you by surprise. Since 2023, the Vertikum has stood prominently at this location, evoking a small “Manhattan moment” reminiscent of New York’s Flatiron Building (Daniel Hudson Burnham, 1902) with its bold wedge shape and strong verticality. Of course, at nine floors, the height is relative – Dusseldorf is no Manhattan nor does it pretend to be anything other than Düsseldorf. And this is exactly what the Vertikum stands for with its powerful presence.

Refined Lines for a Striking Presence

We were tasked with designing and constructing an office building with retail space on the ground floor. Positioned on a trapezoidal plot at the forefront of the building block, this project was viewed as a minimally invasive form of urban repair, playing an important mediating role within the cityscape. The Verticum asserts itself through a classic emphasis on the corner, while the facade’s geometry and materiality create a strong and clear visual identity. The shell around the reinforced concrete structure does not give away any space; it fully encloses the building from sidewalk to parapet and tightly around the curved corners, without sacrificing depth. Utilizing three primary materials – Jura Poros (a light natural stone); narrow black-gray aluminum profiles, and glass (clear solar control glass and back-painted at the parapets) – the facade achieves a striking yet refined appearance through the consistent repetition of an adaptive grid. Its stone structure, which has been reduced to a minimum horizontally, appears delicate and refined through handcrafted details. The Vertikum is classically composed: the base combines the ground and the first floors, creating a robust foundation that visually anchors the building. Similarly, the crown, comprising the 7th and 8th floors, forms a sweeping retreat from its neighbor. A nice bonus is the roof terrace nestled within the protected intermediate space.

Shaping Diversity into Unity

Das Ladenlokal hat einen eigenen Eingang, eine dezent hinterleuchtetes schwarzes Schriftband mit dem Namenszug des Geschäfts ergänzt die Wirkung der umlaufend großen Schaufensterflächen, die selbst starke Signale in den Stadtraum senden. Direkt neben dem Haupteingang mit Aufgang zu den Büroetagen liegt, als freundliches Angebot zum Verzicht auf den eignen PKW, eine Fahrradgarage, eine Umkleide gibt es im Untergeschoss. Im gesamten Haus sind die Flure und Erschließungsflächen einheitlich neutral gestaltet. SMP Strategy Consulting bezog als Generalmieter die Etagen 5 bis 8 des Gebäudes und beauftragte uns für die Entwicklung der Innenarchitektur. Gewünscht war, dass die moderne Arbeitsweise der Beratung, mit der in der Architektur bereits eingeführten Formensprache in einer coolen aber gleichzeitig menschlich-wohnlichen Atmosphäre zum Ausdruck gebracht wird.

“On the corner site, which is only 550 square meters, we have shown what maximum urban renewal can look like on a minimal footprint. Our design also responds appropriately, independently and sensitively to the neighboring Ministry of Justice and Johanneskirche.”

Lars Göpfert

Each of the office floors, spanning 400 square meters, offers contemporary working options seamlessly integrated into the planning grid without spatial constraints. Employees can work individually or in pairs in glazed cubicles, at large “Workbenches” in the open space that can be partitioned off with curtains, at the window bar with views of Berliner Allee, in the closed meeting room, in the “Phone Box,” or informally in the kitchenette. The carpentry furniture, crafted from dark-stained oak with rounded corners, echoes the architecture’s design language. Building construction, interior design, and carefully curated furnishings synthesize into a cohesive, holistic environment. At the heart of the office lies a professionally equipped kitchen, ideal for hosting cooking events with guests. Meals can be enjoyed at a long communal table in the “Town Hall” or on the green roof terrace surrounded by trees and plants – all while overlooking the bustling cityscape.

Project team
  • Lars Göpfert
  • Judith Alich
  • Rosella Alvir Grau
  • Beate Bischofberger
  • Ayse Elmas
  • Engin Esen
  • Beate Groß
  • Kai Hesse
  • Ann-Denise Hinse
  • Jan Jermer-Urban
  • Klaus Kirchner
  • Cristina Lagaccia
  • Aleksandra Lewandowska
  • Miriam Nguan
  • Rojek Kacper
  • Kateryna Ryzhkova
  • Maik Skerka