Cathedral pavilion Cologne - 3rd prize
Information pavilion and entrance building - Designing a small functional structure at the base of the imposing Cologne Cathedral, as an entrance building to the south tower, seemed to be a nearly unsolvable task. The differences in scale and historical or architectural significance are overwhelming. And yet the necessary compromise between restraint in the face of the cathedral and significance for visitors and tourists has been achieved. The solution is an inspired structure in glass and finely structured aluminium, whose appearance oscillates between dark bronze and lead grey depending on the angle of incident light. Purely rational in technology and construction, the building avoids any hint of architectural symbolism. It draws attention even when the cathedral square is crowded with people. The guiding idea of the architects was to cut an opening of polished concrete into the cathedral base and insert a glass cube housing all the separate functions (information, kiosk, ticket booth) into the opening. As a final gesture – and to create a cohesive architectural image – the space, which is accessible at all times, and the glass cube were enveloped in an elegant membrane. The 7.6-m-high metal and light installation proclaims its functional belonging through its parallel placement to the cathedral. Reflecting the slenderness of the soaring Gothic framework in the background, the self-supporting skin changes dynamically from dark to bright, from closed to open. An interplay that is often instantaneously transformed into an installation of light by sunlight alone, in the constant transitions of daylight and weather. It is this rhythm of changing light, as much as any other feature, that prepares visitors for their ascent of the cathedral tower.