Sustainable living in verdant surroundings: Between Schaffrathsgasse and Lerchenweg in the Cologne district of Bocklemünd, a lively residential quarter is being created that will offer both its future residents and its neighbours a place to feel at ease.
A total of 161 dwelling units and a day care centre, along with around 2,400 square metres of outdoor and play areas, will be built by 2026 on the former commercial site using sustainable hybrid timber construction: Seven free-standing buildings will be grouped around a generously dimensioned public square, which, as a leafy green centre, not only provides space for a playground but also facilitates a lively exchange within the neighbourhood. An approximately 125-metre-long, four-storey building block on the eastern edge of the site will shield the development from emissions from Militärringstraße and the urban rail line.
The appearance of the new quarter is dominated by the greenery of the façade planting as well as the timber of the exterior walls. The strongly articulated façades establish a calm framework for the individual adaptation of the private outdoor areas, creating a diverse and colourful visual appearance. Long, full-length balconies also imbue the façades with liveliness and, with their orientation to the central square, create a transition between public and private space.
Building for a Sense of Identity
The selection of different plants for the greenery will structure the façades into clearly identifiable places whose colouration will vary seasonally. The mineralised wood used for the façade, with its warm and also light appearance, also changes over time, reacting to the effects of weather and the environment. Together with the personalised balconies, this results in addresses with a high degree of individuality that change in harmony with nature, the seasons, time, and the residents themselves.
Building for Living Space Surrounded by Greenery
The central green space, which is bounded by green façades, strengthens biodiversity in the neighbourhood and beyond. Rotating the free-standing buildings creates interesting outdoor spaces beyond the central square: here there will be playgrounds for small children as well as vegetable gardens and green places for the residents to gather.
Building for Sustainability
Full utilisation of renewable energy on the roof areas combined with the use of renewable and recycled materials to construct the building epitomises the project’s ecological sustainability.
Building for Climate Adaptation
Since the site is classified as a heat-affected residential zone, the requirements for climate-resilient development are greater. The neighbourhood’s green centre makes use of evaporative cooling to help prevent heat islands. Retention areas on roofs and on the grounds offer protection in the event of heavy rainfall. Rainwater and grey water are used for potable water conservation and irrigation. The greening of the south-facing façades and the balconies and canopies in front provide protection against overheating of the interior spaces in summer.
Building for Neighbourliness
Differentiated pathways, the day care centre with a large, south-facing outdoor area, four decentralised playgrounds for small children, and the central neighbourhood square link the new development with the existing neighbourhood and allow old and new to merge into one.
Building for Tranquillity
To make the residential quarter as car-free as possible, mobility points with car-sharing opportunities, bicycle parking and e-bike stations are provided at each of the two entrances to the underground car park, from Schaffrathsgasse and Lerchenweg.