33_ASTOC | Housing scheme Buchheimer Weg



Project title: Housing scheme Buchheimer Weg, Cologne (Social Housing)

Recommending party
The project has been submitted by:

ASTOC Architects and Planners, Cologne



City: Cologne


 Cologne, district Ostheim, Buchheimer Weg


Designer or design team architects:

ASTOC Architects and Planners, Cologne


Plot Area: 42100 m2

Gross Area: 51600 m2

Of which residential: 97,3%
Public/communal areas: -%
Facilities for the public: 1,6%
Business/trade: -%
Offices: 1,1%

Number of residential units: 434
Typology of users: families, old aged people, foreigners/immigrants,
Total building costs Euros: 27.756 M€
Building Cost = Total Bulding Cost / Gross Area: 537,91 €/mq
Floor area ratio = Gross Area / Plot Area: 1,23 mq
Work started on date: 07/2007
Work completion date: 12/2010


Promoter: Development of housing provision for North Rhine Westphalia (Wohnraumförderungsbestimmungen NRW)
Owner: GAG Immobilien AG, Josef-Lammerting-Allee 20-22, 50933 Cologne
Allotment rule:
Reduction cost percentage compared to the market value:

– assignement: 59 %
– rent: 7 %

Description of the project: 

Ostheim is a socially deprived and disadvantaged district of Cologne. The new housing complex enhances the whole city district and provides a fresh tone to the urban landscape.

The residential development has a typical row layout on a continuous access road and was built in the 1950s. The housing association, GAG Immobilien, had to build quickly and cost-effectively. Fifty years after they were constructed, the buildings were in a very poor state. Refurbishment, including an upgrade of their heating and insulation, would not have been a viable proposition, even with the available grants. Moreover GAG also had the objective of keeping rents at the same level and hence retaining its tenants – no easy task. To successfully accomplish the only alternative of demolition and new build with this proposal, GAG could neither amend the building legislation (which would have been associated with extra costs for GAG) nor redesign the technical infrastructure – but somehow the intensity of use of the site had to be raised. The general open spaces between and around the row housing required to be redesigned to fulfil the various user needs without fundamentally disturbing the original character of the development.

The new buildings are slightly but sharply bent in the middle so that together they create a courtyard ambiance without interrupting the continuity of the open space. This kink lends the space between the buildings a new quality. Green space and playgrounds, communal areas and gardens for the ground floor apartments are separated from each other by hedges of various heights. The existing trees were largely retained. All the apartments are barrier-free; the amount of shared accommodation and sheltered housing stipulated under the housing development act was similarly incorporated. The third phase of construction will also feature a children’s day centre, a tenants’ café, a care home for people with disabilities, and several offices.

The colour concept is based on multiple tones of green and emphasises the plasticity of the volumes, the colour changes at the kink in the facade and varies depending on the orientation. GAG managed the relocation sympathetically to ensure that the existing tenants did not have to look for another home. The gross floor area has been increased by more than 70% without loss of the complex’s character and the original problems were eliminated.