FrauenMediaTurm - Cologne

The award-winning FrauenMediaTurm project presented a remarkable opportunity to create an archive and study center for Women’s Studies within the shell of a thirteenth-century fortified tower.
Modern materials such as steel, concrete blockwork, glass and bold splashes of color create a dramatic contrast between old and new and ensure that the contemporary insertions are clearly distinguished from the ancient stonework that encases them. Rather than being attached directly to the tower’s masonry walls, the library’s steel galleries and shelving systems are suspended from newly-added concrete floors, creating a gap between the old stone and the new elements which optimises air circulation and dispenses with any need for mechanical ventilation. A series of individual workspaces are carved out of the original stone walls, emphasising the remarkable solidity of the original masonry. At the tower’s apex a new skylight draws light down into the building and a viewing platform provides views though the battlements out over the Rheinauhafen district.


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Completion: 1994
LPH: 1 - 5
Owner: Stiftung FrauenMediaTurm, Stadt Köln, Amt für Denkmalpflege u. Hochbauamt
BGF: 543 m²
BRI: 5.700 m³
Honors: Deutscher Architekturpreis 1995 Anerkennung,
Vorbildliche Bauten NRW 1994, Auszeichnung
Kölner Architekturpreis 1995, Anerkennung
Projectnumber: 206
© GATERMANN + SCHOSSIG