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D-Cologne Housing Grüner Weg completed
As a result of the developments, particularly during recent years, in the Ehrenfeld district of cologne, this neighbourhood, very urban for its wealth of every contrast imaginable, has now acquired the characterisation as 'particularly "in"'. The neighbour- hood attracts younger and creative people, for the usual reasons, including rental rates that are still relatively reasonablypriced, variety in the spaces offered, and cultural wealth.

But at first glance it would seem quite courageous for Cologne's largest housing company, GAG, to realise a construction project in this rather unaccustomed location. GAG Immobilien AG had acquired the abandoned property that had once been the site of a plant where distillation equipment was made, on Grüner Weg, together with a neighbouring plot of land on Melatengürtel. Businesses in the immediate vicinity include a DIY market, a former indoor climbing hall, a food discounter, concert halls and residential housing.

Taking this very heterogeneous mixture into account, the objective is to tap the existing urban potential through an intelligent plan: a varied residential development, linked with smaller commercial and office units. A central role in this respect is played by tower blocks that fit into the disparate situation as best they can while lending the entire area a new, urban look. The designs are the work of the architectural and urban-planning offices of ASTOC, Lorber+Paul and Molestina; the design for the outdoor space stems from Scape landscape architects.

A prominently positioned corner building along Melatengürtel, the new home of the 'Kölner Künstler Theater', also caps the existing development while at the same time constituting the entrance to the new residential development. A total of 66 largely publicly funded flats will be built on this smaller of the two properties, along with units designed specially for dementia patients.

The project will not only create residential space, which is in high demand in Ehrenfeld, but also cultural and social anchoring points through the theatre building and the residential group for dementia sufferers. Above and beyond this, it is the declared intention that the open structure of the development, with its opportunities for mixed use for living, working and specialised retail, should radiate into the surroundings to serve as a model for further developments.

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