Location: Cologne, Germany
Date: 2014
Client: Galeria Kaufhof
Status: Competition
Size: 50,000 sqm (46,000 sqm retail, 4,000 sqm restaurants)
Credits: ACME Team (Sarah Blahut, Monica Capitanio, Erik de Haan, Vera Landshuter, Friedrich Ludewig, Dirk Mueller, Jan Saggau)

The historic Kaufhof building was designed by the architect Wilhelm Kreis and was constructed from 1912-1914.  Throughout the years, and mostly after destruction during the Second World War, the original building has undergone substantial changes and has been continually remodeled and extended.  The resulting built form that is Kaufhof today now lacks architectural quality and performance, making it difficult to meet the demands of a modern department store.  Some of the key features of the original building have been lost.  The atria have been closed and the once distinct roof has been replaced with a flat parking deck.  Furthermore, extensions to the building have been added on the south side which  have doubled the total area of the store.

Our design approach makes strong references to the orginal design.  The retail areas are grouped around a central atrium that accends into a new roof  level that allows views of the city and the nearby Cologne Cathedral.  Restaurants, a food market and outdoor terraces invite the public to experience the building and strenghen Kaufhof as an attraction in the centre of Cologne.