Architecture

Design Post

Buildings and Architecture

The seven so-called Dreigelenkbogenhallen (three-joint arcade halls), commissioned by the Post Office and built in 1913, were elaborately modernised with great attention paid to their historical significance and remodelled into a large, bright exhibition building in 2005. Originally a parcel distribution centre, they are located directly opposite the Cologne-Deutz railway station and the trade fair grounds.

Its architectural quality and generous space make this building a monument worthy of preservation. The plan for its renovation and new intended use was developed with great care and inspiration. The architects of the planning office that was subcontracted for the project, O III architecten in Amsterdam, recognised the opportunity to preserve the building: it was a chance to build a space with an extraordinary atmosphere that is ideal for exhibitions and events.

In particular, the integrated long bodies of the building, which form a bridge-like mezzanine floor, generate added value in terms of interior, functionality and intimacy. The set-back galleries are no mere design elements which the architects added randomly. The new architecture was deliberately modelled on the former purpose of the building: the bridges were positioned at the exact place where the post trains used to be, their wide passageways symbolising the open doors of the historical trains. In this way the architecture sensitively pays homage to the history of the place.