Laurenz Härtl

Laurenz Härtl

Market Hall Cologne. RWTH Aachen (Germany)

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EAP 2021 Laurenz Härtl

Market Hall Cologne The idea of stacked public spaces

The market hall is located in the city centre of Cologne south of the Cologne Cathedral. It can be seen as a prelude to the "Via Culturalis", the middle of three vertically running street axes, parallel to the Rhine, covering shopping, culture and the old town with gastronomy.

The core of the design is formed by three stacked public spaces, which differ in their qualities. On the first floor there is an open, multifunctional, roofed action space. It is enlivened by formal and informal events spread throughout the day and the week. On the area under the building, which is accessible for vehicles and follows the natural topography, it is possible to organize weekly markets, food festivals, flea markets, music and cultural events and exhibitions. The character of this space is changeable, allows spontaneity and promotes exchange between people.

Two wide open staircases lead to the delicatessen market hall on the gallery-like first level. Unlike supermarkets, the focus of the market hall is not on simply supplying the population with food, but on stimulating curiosity, communication and interaction among visitors and in relation to merchants.
Following the outdoor stairs further up to the roof, one reaches a roof garden that offers space for relaxation, physical activity and communication, in addition to the panoramic view and especially the view of the cathedral.

The design sees itself as a catalyst of public space, a magnet for people who are interested in the metabolism of cultural and intellectual goods beyond the exchange of goods and consumption. The building’s character is intended to provide a structural basis for a resurgent vitality of the city centre. The design is characterized by the two indirectly illuminated wooden beam grids. The facades and other finishing elements are light, translucent and subordinate to the main structure.

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