Deutzer Hafen

cobe deutzer hafen exterior cobe deutzer hafen exterior
Welcoming
rainwater
as a resource

Year: First prize in competition 2016, on-going

Client: Stadt Köln and Moderne Stadt

Program: Masterplan for new city district in former industrial harbour area

Size: 240,000 m²

At the same time as every major urbanized area suffers from water scarcity, waterfront cities are experiencing growing challenges with handling extreme stormwater events and rising sea levels. This might seem like a paradox. So how can urban solutions mitigate the climate-related challenges while utilizing resources better? Deutzer Hafen is an old industrial harbour area in Cologne, Germany, located south of the city center. Cobe’s winning proposal for a new development plan transforms the area from industry to a lively and sustainable neighbourhood. By meeting the water design challenge head-on, the neighbourhood showcases examples of how water challenges can be turned into water resources on an urban scale.

cobe deutzer hafen exterior

The harbour of Cologne has a rich variety of industrial layers, as a beautiful contrast to the famous Kölner Dom – Cologne's cathedral.

The project consists of new housing types integrated into the industrial heritage architecture preserved on-site, providing homes for 5,000 inhabitants and workspaces for another 4,500. A new bicycle bridge over the Rhine River connects the neighbourhood to Cologne’s city center.

How can cities make
room for water?

Today, Deutzer Hafen is the largest central area of potential densification in Cologne. A major challenge to the site is the dynamic water levels of the Rhine, which vary by 10 meters and make flood handling key to the design.

cobe deutzer hafen exterior canoa
cobe deutzer hafen banks

How to transform Cologne's last industrial harbour into a lively city for 5,000 people living in close symbiosis with water? A leisure park is a part of the natural rainwater filter.

On a large scale, we integrate the new neighbourhood with Cologne’s historical urban “ring” structure.

cobe deutzer hafen diagram
cobe deutzer hafen diagram

A new promenade loop frames the existing industrial landmarks and makes them accessible to the whole city.

The future Deutzer Hafen is designed to handle heavy rain and large differences in water levels in the Rhine. Streetscapes and public spaces are shaped to mitigate and contain the flow of water.

cobe deutzer hafen plaza
cobe deutzer hafen water cycle diagram

Rainwater is collected and handled in a local system of visible drains, retention basins and green-blue biotopes. The public areas act to absorb excess rainwater and to provide diverse and green spaces for the public.

All rainwater is collected and filtered naturally in an integrated water handling system. After the rainwater is filtered, it ends up in the new harbour pool. The rainwater runs from the pool into the harbour, creating a waterfall.

cobe deutzer hafen diagram
cobe deutzer hafen canal swimmers

The pool collects rainwater and waste heat from the district, solving a serious problem of flooding from the Rhine River while simultaneously creating a new unique attraction in the city.

cobe deutzer hafen diagram second gif cobe deutzer hafen diagram seond gif cobe deutzer hafen diagram second gif

The public spaces are able to retain excess flood- and rainwater, while the buildings are raised to a safe level, protected against flooding. The resulting height differences are designed as inviting urban edges.

cobe deutzer hafen building
Building a new sustainable
neighbourhood around
public life on the waterfront

A series of new public spaces with historical traces creates the framework for the new urban structure.

cobe deutzer hafen banks
cobe deutzer hafen diagram

A new network of bike paths, local streets and easy access to public transport are established at a flooding-safe height. Easy access will encourage people to leave the car at home and bike or use public transport instead.

cobe deutzer hafen diagram
cobe deutzer hafen plaza
cobe deutzer hafen canal buildings

Diverse building sites and types ensure a livable and mixed city.

cobe deutzer hafen building
cobe deutzer hafen diagram

The shape and material of the existing structures are taken as the starting point for the new buildings. We create a new "Deutzer Hafen block type" by combining the qualities of a local housing block with the character of the industrial mill.

cobe deutzer hafen diagram
cobe deutzer hafen diagram

Local housing block in Deutz + “Ellmühle” industrial mill becomes the new block type.

From outdated industry to city of the future. The new skyline of Deutzer Hafen.

cobe deutzer hafen exterior view

Location: Cologne, Germany

Client: Stadt Köln and Moderne Stadt

Program: Masterplan for new city district in former industrial harbour area

Size: 240,000 m²

Year: First prize in competition 2016, on-going

Collaborators: Rambøll Studio Dreiseitl, Transsolar

Team: Alberte Danvig, Alexander Forsch, Caroline Nagel, Dan Stubbergaard, Jannis Bruns, Karoline Liedtke, Laura Diestel, Mads Birgens Kristensen, Melissa Svendson, Ole Storjohann, Tamara Kalanajevska.

Image Credits: Please note that we had used a small number of images for which the copyright holders could not be identified. In these cases it has been our assumption that such images belong to the public domain. If you claim ownership of any of the images presented and have not been properly identified, please notify Cobe and we will make a formal acknowledgement.