Architecture is everpresent and for everybody, especially in the Cologne
Rheinauharbour. The renewed quarter is ideal for understanding the suspensefull interaction of construction engineering and architecture, protection of historical buildings and urban development LIVE on the spot. Not only that everybody has access, it attracts people with it's atmosphere of a mediterranean piazza and maritime calmness. The harbour serves common necessities and conveys the emotional side of architecture simultanously. It excites building experts' curiosity as well as every visitor's. This ambience of old and new, sky and water, live and let live gave birth to arcTourLIVE as starting point for vivid, guided architecTours.
Rheinauharbour is THE showcase project in urban town renewal in Cologne. Outstanding attractivity it gains because of it's central citysite at the waterfront. Especially the three cranehouses - originally designed in the 1992 competition entry by Hadi Teherani (BRT-architects) as bridgehouses - turned out to be a piece of good fortune for Cologne. The building-trio that adopted the scale of the neighboured Severinsbridge had to experience some changes through the process of realization, before they were built in the shape you can see today.
Of all things the famous Cologne Cathedral and it's status as UNESCO world cultural heritage sometimes meant to be a bar to further proceedings in town development. A no-skyscraper zone hung over the town's landmark like a steady cloud and knocked out several townplanning projects of starting signal character. In 2006, when Cologne hosted some matches of the FIFA-worldcup, a group of 120 Meter (390 feet) skyscrapers fell victim to the UNESCO-thread to withdraw the world cultural heritage status. The city-gate across the river Rhine around the Deutz-station and trade fair entry was planned to develop the disadvantaged rightside Cologne. Only the KölnTriangle survived, but was cut down to 103 meters (cathedral = 157 meters).
With Rheinauharbour and especially the cranehouses Cologne succeeded in finding a resort. Due to all difficulties the one-million city is on the contemporary architectural world stage again. With the quotation of El Lissitzky’s Wolkenbügel (cloud-hanger) – an icon of modern architecture –and in a variation of the old on-site harbour cranes it was able to create a new building-type and world-architecture of great identity and originality. (In the proper meaning the cranehouses are bridgehouses from the constructive side, but this is to be explained on the tour in further details.)
Cologne and it's Rheinauharbour do not stand alone in Europe as urban renewal projects. The Hamburg Hafencity, Kop-Zuid in Rotterdam, the development alongside the Ij in Amsterdam or the London Docklands are other notable examples for latest town planning at the waterfront.
Nowhere however the combination of monument protection, contemporary architecture and construction engineering with a partly spectacular result can be experienced in this concentration as on Cologne's peninsula.
The broad waterside promenade, the Harry-Blum-Place as an entrance at the old harbour-department and the Elisabeth-Treskow-Place, which adopts the wideness of the Ubierring, gained river Rhine back for the Cologne Südstadt (southcity) and it's visitors. Today the new mile at the waterfront is for all, not just reserved for those who work here and recently are living here upscaled.
“Architecture for all“ as well is the idea of arcTourLIVE guided tours. Intelligable to all you experience things to know about specific historical details, town planning, architecture, and last but not least the outstanding answer to the question under the cranehouses: „How does it bear?“