KOBLENZ – Benthem Crouwel Architects recently completed the Kulturbau in Koblenz, Germany. Kulturbau was part of the winning Zentralplatz competition entry by the Dutch and German firm.
The urban plan for Zentralplatz was divided into four zones – two buildings (the Forum Mittelrhein and Kulturbau) separated by two outdoor spaces (Zentralplatz and Trichterplatz).
The building houses a public library, tourist information centre and the Mittelrhein Museum. It has a triangular form and every façade has an entrance for each of the functions. A central atrium allows daylight into the interior volume while also creating vertical and visual connections between the three programmes.
Kulturbau has a double façade with a structural-glazing construction of white silk-screened glass which, the architects say, ‘envelops the building like a second skin’ giving it a ‘refined appearance’.
Pedestrians and their interaction with the buildings and outdoor space was an important consideration in Benthem Crouwel’s proposal. Both buildings and all the landscaped areas that are part of the Zentralplatz urban plan have rounded corners to accommodate ‘pedestrian flows’ and movement. Kulturbau’s silk-screened glass façade is ‘cut’ at all three of its entrances to allow pedestrians views into the building and draw them in.
Photos courtesy of Thomas Eicken