ISLAND OF LIFE AND STYLE
ARCHITECTURAL ICON KÖ-BOGEN
ARCHITECTURE THAT SPEAKS
ITS OWN LANGUAGE
More than just real estate. What distinguishes the Kö-Bogen is its striking façade made of glass and white natural stone, cut open by diagonal slashes, the so-called “cuts” on the north and west sides of the ensemble. With the special engineering of its façade, the Kö-Bogen, with its hanging gardens of the Königsallee, speaks its own language.
Daniel Libeskind, B.Arch. M.A. BDA AIA, is an international architect and designer. His work extends to places all over the world, including museums and concert halls as well as conference centers, universities, hotels, shopping centers and housing projects. Born in Lodz, Poland in 1946, Libeskind started out as a musical virtuoso, before giving up music for architecture. He has received several awards and has designed many projects of world renown, among others the Jewish Museum in Berlin, the Denver Art Museum, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the Military History Museum in Dresden, the master plan for Ground Zero and many more. Daniel Libeskind’s commitment to enlarge the scope of architecture is reflected in his deep interest and engagement in the areas of philosophy, art, literature and music. The fundamental aspect of Libeskind’s philosophy is the idea that structures are created from perceptible human energy and thus address the larger cultural context in which they were built. Daniel Libeskind teaches and lectures at universities around the world. He lives in New York City with his wife and business partner, Nina Libeskind.
one of the most influential architects of our time
AN INTELLECTUAL DREAMER BECOMES
AN INTERNATIONAL ARCHITECT
Previously, Libeskind practiced his passion in a very theoretical way. He taught and gave lectures at numerous universities around the world. Customarily, architects follow the path of passing on all their collected knowledge at the end of their professional careers, but Libeskind has always broken with conventions. Born in Poland as the son of two Holocaust survivors, he arrived New York City when he was thirteen. Here he internalized the city’s anyone-can-make it-attitude and didn’t let himself be dissuaded by skeptics.
In doing so, Libeskind was very much aware of the fact that a project that has won does not necessarily mean the idea will be realized. But he refuses to give up. The best example is his masterpiece; the Jewish Museum in Berlin that no one believed would ever be built. But Libeskind moved with his whole family to Berlin and made sure the project was realized. It took him 10 years to do it, but in the end his patience brought him international recognition and fame. In the first year after the opening of the museum, it had received half a million visitors, although it was completely empty. A better proof for the success of an architect can hardly be found.
Libeskind’s patience goes hand in hand with his unwavering visionary ideas. His completed buildings often are similar to his first drafts. His works are always based on a metaphor that refers to the idea in the context with the future building. Through these symbolic references, Libeskind flirts with the building contractors to realize his vision. Of course at the same time, he has the freedom to choose his projects.
A truly extraordinary challenge that Libeskind has taken on, is the creation of an entire international business district in Seoul, South Korea — the Dream Hub. The project is indisputably true to its name. It presents a multitude of metaphors and unites traditional Korean beliefs with Feng Shui and futuristic city life into something that essentially looks like a fantasy world. The Dream Hub, when it is finished in 2024, will be an unprecedented example of sustainable living in the 21st century. And a real highlight of the skyline of Seoul.
Aside from conveying conceptual meaning, Libeskind would also like to surprise the viewer with his buildings. Although Libeskind always dresses himself from top to bottom in black, in his concepts he plays with contrasts and creates the unexpected. In an interview with New York Magazine in 2007, he says, “If a building is good then the surprise element is part of the building, even if you enter it a hundred times.”
Because of his multi-faceted concepts, Libeskind is sometimes thought of as “too much”: too romantic, too visionary. The avant-garde however was never the result of mediocre solutions. And without extravagance and unconventionality, Libeskind would not be the fascinating star architect he is today.
The Kö-Bogen’s award in the category “Best Urban Regeneration Project” is not only a sign for architectural quality, but above all, it confirms and recognizes the urban planning vision and the determination to redesign the heart of downtown Düsseldorf and to lengthen the Königsallee. The Kö-Bogen is here the first milestone for further measures, which will bring a new modern urbanity to the city center between Schauspielhaus, Dreischeibenhaus, Hofgarten and Johannes Church.
For the area around the former Jan-Wellem Platz, star architect Daniel Libeskind of New York has designed a two-part building ensemble with about 42,000 m² floor space on a site of 9,000 m²: two 26m-high buildings (Haus Hofgarten and Haus Königsallee) that are occupied by premium flagship stores of international top brands, unique store concepts as well as cafés and restaurants. Highly functional and modern office space is being created on the upper floors.
170,000 m³ excavated material, 36 participating offices, 45 planning companies, 60,000 plans and reports , 10 tons of paper – and 35,000 cups of coffee, these are just some of the facts that characterize the construction process of the Kö-Bogen. And the effort was worth it: in March 2014, the Kö-Bogen was awarded the renowned MIPIM AWARD in the category “Best Urban Regeneration Project”. The building ensemble designed by Daniel Libeskind and realized by the project development company “die developer” convinced everyone. The prize was awarded during the MIPIM in Cannes and is called the “Oscar of the real estate sector”.
After Kö-Bogen received the renowned MIPIM AWARD in the category “Best Urban Regeneration Project” in March 2014, half a year later it was also awarded the LEED Platinum certification. “Being awarded the LEED Platinum certification is really a very special honor and a wonderful acknowledgement of our work. We worked towards this goal and are obviously very happy that we were able to reach it,” says Stefan H. Mühling, managing director of the responsible project developing company, “die developer”.
Since 2009, the immobilienmanager.AWARD is awarded in 14 different categories; seasoned specialists make up the expert jury. In 2011, Kö-Bogen won the immobilienmanager.AWARD and brought the renowned prize of the real estate business to Düsseldorf. In 2013, Kö-Bogen was successful again in being among the top three. This time in the category Mediation and Consulting.
Düsseldorf’s new center is convincing not only for architectural reasons, but also in terms of safety: Designed by the star architect Daniel Libeskind from New York, the Kö-Bogen is protected by close to 8,600 sprinklers, including the underground parking facility belonging to it. For its extensive fire protection measures, the building complex was awarded the “Sprinkler Protected” Quality Seal of the German Federal Association for Technical Fire Protection (bvfa) on February 22, 2016.
„With their decision to install comprehensive fire protection using a sprinkler system, those responsible at Kö-Bogen have set a clear example. In every situation in life, whether it’s recreational, training or work-related, the protection of human life must be a top priority. Therefore, we are happy to add this building to the list of previous award-winners,“ said Dr. Wolfram Krause, the managing director of the German Federal Association for Technical Fire Protection (bvfa), in regard to the jury’s decision.