Located at the heart of Düsseldorf, Kö-Bogen II is part of the trio of the iconic buildings, located next to Hofgarten, forming the urban fabric of the city. Sitting next to Dreischeibenhaus by Helmut Hentrich and Hubert Petschnigg (1960) and Schauspielhaus by Bernhard Pfau (1970), the Kö-Bogen II is the latest in a series of additions carried out by the city to rejuvenate its city centre.
Designed by International practice, Ingenhoven Architects, Kö-Bogen II is a radical upgradation from its well-known neighbours, with its dynamic green façade featuring eight kilometres of hornbeam hedges and 30,000 plants, forming the biggest green façade in Europe. Designed to oscillate between city and park, the green façade of the building is inspired by the Land Art and the Hofgarten (Public Garden), which was designed to replace an elevated motorway in the heart of the city, as part of urban regeneration starting in 2013.
“Christoph Ingenhoven has been pursuing the idea of redesigning the centre of Düsseldorf since 1992. With studies, urban planning concepts, and concrete projects, he has provided essential impulses for the evolution of a city that was long oriented towards cars and the unimpeded flow of traffic” said the studio.
The practice won an international competition in 2018 to design the building and also carried out refurbishment to the next door Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus, starting in 2018. Ready in 2020, the architecture of Kö-Bogen II is in direct response to its urban context. Approaching the building from Schadowstrasse or Berliner Allee, the two-part building frames the post-war modernism and acts as an entrance to Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz. The 27-metre high, five-floor main trapezoidal building dominates with its entirely green façade, entering into dialogue with the Hofgarten.
Contextually sitting between Schadowstrasse and Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz, the building includes retail, commercial and offices, forming the biggest component of the development. The smaller 10-metre high building extends the plaza with its sloping roof, inviting visitors to climb and soak in the view and the sun. The sloping roof is completely covered in green and seeks a relationship with Hofgarten in a distance.
The façade strategy of main building is quite simple, fully-glazed along Schadowstrasse, offering views to the retail component inside, in a dialogue with one of the busiest shopping streets in Germany. Looking at the building from Gustaf-Gründgens-Platz, the 27-metre high and 120-metre long façade and roof are completely covered in 8 kilometres of hornbeam hedges, forming the largest green façade in Europe. The building signals a radical upgradation, offering a forward-thinking urban response to climate change. With its supergreen* concept, Ingenhoven Architects pushes the sustainability agenda, offering a possible solution to greening and bringing Nature back to our cities.
Featuring over thirty thousand plants, the hornbeam was chosen as a main species, due to its robustness and ability to change foliage colour throughout the year. This heavy greening strategy affects the larger city area and helps reduce urban heat, sequesters carbon in the city, stores moisture, absorbs noise, and helps increase biodiversity in the city. Working on regenerative strategies, this building is a radical urban response against climate change and has the same effect as approximately 80 fully grown deciduous trees. The planting concept was developed in partnership with botanist, Prof. Dr Strauch from Beuth University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. The collaboration included site analysis, studying the structural requirements and the size and type of planter. The planting design formulated includes growing the plants in conventional plant beds on the north facades and on the west facades. The plants are grown in special system of horizontally-arranged containers on a separate supporting structure connected to the façade.
“Giving back as much green as possible to the city is a task that Ingenhoven Architects have been working on for decades and across different climate zones. With its supergreen® concept, the office is taking a comprehensive approach to sustainability,” explains Ingenhoven Architects.
The Kö-Bogen II façade offers a forward-thinking climatic response to our cities, offering possible regenerative solution for bringing ecological services back to our cities and improve wellbeing among residents. The green wall here is more than a novelty idea; here it becomes a vehicle for urban transformation and regeneration strategy, connecting the building to the larger green network.
Project Kö-Bogen II, Düsseldorf
Location Düsseldorf, Germany
Programme retail, gastronomy, offices, underground car park
Competition international competition 2014, 1st prize
Construction period 2017–2020
BGF office building 41,370 m2
BGF underground car park 23,000 m2
Sustainability certificate DGNB Platinum pre - certificate, supergreen®
Client Düsseldorf Schadowstraße 50/52 GmbH & Co. KG, CENTRUM Projektentwicklung GmbH, Düsseldorf and B&L Group, Hamburg
Architect ingenhoven architects, Düsseldorf
Team ingenhoven architects Christoph Ingenhoven, Peter Jan van Ouwerkerk, Cem Uzman, Mehmet Congara, Ben Dieckmann, Patrick Esser, Vanessa Garcia Carnicero, Yulia Grantovskikh, Tomoko Goi, Olga Hartmann, Jakob Hense, Melike Islek, Fabrice-Noel Köhler, Christian Monning, Daniel Pehl, Andres Pena Gomez, Peter Pistorius, Lukas Reichel, Jürgen Schreyer, Susana Somoza Parada, Jonas Unger, Nicolas Witsch, Dariusz Szczygielski, Stefan Boenicke, Thanh Dang
Project management AIP Bauregie GmbH, Düsseldorf
Structural planning Schüßler- Plan Ingenieurgesellschaft mbH, Düsseldorf
Development plan Heinz Jahnen Pflüger – Stadtplaner und Architekten Partnerschaft, Aachen
Geotechnical consulting ICG Düsseldorf GmbH & Co. KG
Facade planning – green facades and green roofs ingenhoven architects
Phytotechnology – building greenery Prof. Dr. Strauch, Beuth University of Applied Sciences, Berlin, Department of Life Sciences and Technology
Consultation on vegetation ecology Prof. Dr. Reif, Albert Ludwigs University Freiburg, Chair of Site Classification and Vegetation Science
Photos © ingenhoven architects / HGEsch
ingenhoven architects was founded in 1985 by Christoph Ingenhoven and is one of the international pioneers of sustainable, ecological architecture. The office develops and realizes projects of all sizes and typologies in nearly every region of the world and in accordance with the highest green building standards, such as LEED, Green Star, BREEAM, DGNB, and CASBEE. In 1997, ingenhoven architects received international recognition for the RWE Tower in Essen, one of the world’s first ecological high-rise buildings. Since 1997, the office has been planning Stuttgart’s underground main railway station. Several award-winning high-rise projects have been built in Singapore, Japan, and Australia. The headquarters of ingenhoven architects is located in Düsseldorf’s Media Harbour, with branches in St. Moritz, Sydney, and Singapore.