Cities constantly change. Transition is genesis of cities. Accepting this as a basic principle means to understand that a city and therefore public space will never be ready build. This perpetual process occurs in the whole city area, thus with difference in speed, slower in the core and faster at the periphery. Historic districts consist of multiple layers while relicts are limited today. Newly developed areas seem often somewhat diffuse.
Main Station, Public Broadcast, Museums, Administration, Rhine Waterfront are part of Colognes center. Business people, citizens, tourists, passengers - they create different layers of varying uses, interfering each other. The Via Culturalis is located in such a „frictional“ area. The desired „Kulturmeile“ (a kind of cultural boulevard) isn‘t recognizable yet.
To initiate the process of becoming visible part of Cologne‘s historic center inventerventions in public space are suggested for the Via Culturalis. At present open space is stuffed with lots of signs for traffic, advertising and directory purposes, street furniture, lighting and infrastructure elements. Due to their different dates of origin manifold styles are present, obviously no coherent design guide exists.
Starting point to raise awakeness and initiate public discourse is to highlight all these elements. In a next step so called „model islands“ are installed as meeting points for interested visitors of the Via Culturalis. Analogue guides - students of art, history of art or achaeology - as living elements of the Via Culturalis, introduce to the subject on guided tours to the ancient hot spots and inform about their roman or medievial past. Another temporary intervention to strike attention even from far is to tag the Via Culturalis with balloons.
Four zones of intervention are represented on urbanistic level. The aim is to implement carefully instead of building new incoherently: architectural and urban evolution, not revolution. The suggested building volumes and structures unfurl presently hidden or blocked space and/or enhance visual connections . Recommended are a residential building at ‚Sankt Maria im Kapitol‘, a new building at the ‚Quartermarkt‘, the replacement of the parking deck ‚Am Hof‘, and a new volume at the ‚Kurienhaus‘ together with a generous flight of steps to the Roncalliplatz.
Another aspect is an illumination concept highlighting facades of prior interest.
The process will start in 2014 with first interventions.
City of Cologne
Hild und K, Munich
ca. 5,2 ha