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Old March 24th, 2016, 05:35 PM   #1
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COLOGNE | MesseCity and Exhibition Centre

The Koelnmesse is the name of the international trade fair and exhibition center located in Cologne. It's the sixth largest fair grounds in the world by exhibition space (see) and an important factor for the economy of Cologne.
Some years ago, Koelnmesse decided to modernise the whole complex to stay competitive in today's global trade fair business. The fair grounds are located in a quite central position in Cologne, so the Koelnmesse promised to maintain a high quality of architecture and urbanism.

There have been two big recent investment programs in the fair grounds which are called MesseCity and Koelnmesse 3.0. All in all, they will add up to an investment volume of € 1.15 billion by the year 2030.

Here's an overview:

Original image: © JSWD Architekten


1. - 4. MesseCity

The MesseCity is a planned office and commercial area. The plot is situated between the trade fair and the Deutz long distance railway station.
Three buildings in the western half of the new quarter (1) will be used by the Zurich Insurance Group as their new Germany HQ. Also, a new cinema, hotels, gastronomy, retail and more office spaces are planned.

  • Architects: KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten (Braunschweig), gmp Gerkan, Marg und Partner (Hamburg), Max Dudler Architekt (Berlin), Ortner & Ortner Baukunst (Cologne/Berlin)
  • Investment volume: € 550 million
  • Gross floor space: 135,000 m²
  • Start of construction: 2016
  • First buildings are expected to be completed by 2019


New Zurich HQ (1)

The three westernmost buildings will be used by the Zurich Insurance Group as their new Germany HQ. There will be office spaces for 2700 employees.


Image: KSP/STRABAG Real Estate/ECE

Messebalkon and commercial buildings (2, 3, 4)

2 This block is expected to host two hotels.
3 The Messebalkon (~ trade fair balcony) is the designated centre of the new urban quarter and will connect the south entrance of the fair grounds with the railway station Köln Messe/Deutz. You will be able to see the spires of Cologne Cathedral from here. It is underpinned and is likely to host a new cinema.
4 More offices and retail spaces


Image: Max Dudler/STRABAG Real Estate/ECE

Cubatures (1-4)


Image: Messe City Köln GmbH & Co. KG
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Old March 24th, 2016, 05:37 PM   #2
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5. - 10. Koelnmesse 3.0

Koelnmesse 3.0 is a modernisation programme that will be completed in three phases ending in 2030. It will particularly affect the Southern Halls and the traffic and parking situation; also, it will create more attractive halls and better traffic routes.

  • Architects: JSWD Architekten (Cologne)
  • Investment volume: € 600 million
  • Refurbishment period: 2015 - 2030
    new exhibition hall (due ~2018)
    new conference centre (~2021)
    new terminal (~2024)

Confex (5)

New convention centre for 4000 visitors and an expansion area for new formats that combine a conference and an exhibition.


Image: © JSWD Architekten

East entrance (6)

New east entrance and fassade refurbishment towards the Deutz-Mülheimer Street.


Image: © JSWD Architekten

Terminal (7)

The new connection between the exhibition halls will be elaborated as a boulevard with gastronomy offerings.


Image: © JSWD Architekten

Halle 1plus (8)

By 2019, this car park will be replaced by a new exhibition hall with an exhibition space of 10,000 m². A new multi-storey car park will be built in its stead in the north of the fair grounds next to the Zoobrücke.

Staatenhaus (9)

The Staatenhaus is a former venue built in the 1920s. It will be refurbished and used as a musical theatre in future. This is not part of the Koelnmesse 3.0 programme but the space has been used by the trade fair in the past.
It has a floor space of 16,900 m² and can host events for up to 12,000 visitors.


Image: KölnKongress

Entrance North (10) and South (11)

Both the entrances North and South have already been modernised in the past few years.


Image: © Koelnmesse GmbH

The Entrance South is where the Messebalkon (3) will be located. The stairs will be removed then.


Image: © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)
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Old May 8th, 2016, 11:08 PM   #3
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At the beginning of the week the Zurich Insurance Group signed the tenancy agreement and so the investor bought the plot from the city. It is expected that the building application will be submitted in the next months so that the construction can still start this year. The first buildings are to be completed by 2019.

Here are some new visualisations for this plot (1):



Images: SRE/ECE/HH-Vision

Winning draft for the plot next to the Deutz-Mülheimer-Straße in the east of the quarter (4) by Ortner & Ortner architects:

Image: Ortner & Ortner

And the high-rise next to the "balcony" from another perspective (3):

Image: Max Dudler architects
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Old May 8th, 2016, 11:08 PM   #4
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An unsuccessful draft; the cubatures were already determined for the facade competition and will be the same as for the winning designs, though:









Architects: Benthem Crouwel GmbH
Project team: M. Sporer, C. Wens, D. Eichenberg, V. van der Graft, T. Mitschke, L. Polaczek, A. Mercade

Facade planning: Arup Deutschland GmbH
Visualisation: Rendertaxi

Source: http://www.cross-architecture.net/messe-city-koeln
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Old May 9th, 2016, 11:06 AM   #5
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An imposingly large development area for Cologne! Probably the Rheinauhafen was the last one of that impact?

I tend to like Dudler, though I'd like to see setbacks on that concept. And I prefer the Benthem Crouwel design for the Zurich Tower, too bad it didn't make it.
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Old July 21st, 2016, 09:50 PM   #6
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Probably, yes. Luckily we'll get some more projects in that league in the near future, like Deutzer Hafen, Mülheimer Hafen and Parkstadt Süd.

As for the MesseCity, all successful drafts from the competition are now published.

Here are the missing ones:

Hotel at the Messebalkon (2) by Gerkan, Marg und Partner architects. Tenant seems to be Motel One.

Image: (c) gmp

Winning draft for the plot next to the Deutz-Mülheimer-Straße in the east of the quarter (4) by Ortner & Ortner architects. The facade will be made out of burnt clay and Oberkirchner sandstone.



Image: (c) Ortner & Ortner

1 & 3 will be build as shown in #1 and #3, including the high-rises.

An updated overview of the area (1-4):

Image: City of Cologne

Start of construction is expected for later this year.
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