Ingenhoven Architects ready to create vertical park and leisure complex in inner city Düsseldorf
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Ingenhoven Architects ready to create vertical park and leisure complex in inner city Düsseldorf

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International architects Ingenhoven have revealed construction will soon begin on a leisure complex that doubles as a vertical park in the heart of German city Düsseldorf.

The studio – who last year unveiled a jungle-infused skyscraper project in Singapore – won an international design competition in 2014 for the project and are preparing to start on site in the next few weeks.

Called Kö-Bogen 2, the complex’s buildings will sit between two plazas that house the city’s main shops and cultural buildings. One will feature a distinctive stepped green façade that covers a large swathe of the exterior façade, while the second will have a gradually sloping grassy roof that will be a public place for meeting, sunbathing and relaxation in the centre of the city.

The expansive vegetation used for the buildings, mostly created using Hornbeam trees, will serve as a cold air reservoir, create shading and a natural wind barrier, and provide clean and moist air that counters the urban heat island effect. The natural façades will also reflect the four distinct seasons in Germany, changing colour through spring, summer, autumn and winter.

The building itself will include shops, offices, gourmet restaurants and a food market that extends outside and into the plazas. These public squares, and the vertical parks, will be used to host cultural performances and festivals.

"Designing Kö-Bogen 2, our aim was to improve the quality of the northern part of the inner-city and to revalue the Gustaf-Gründgens-Plaza in front of the nearby theatre," said studio founder Christoph Ingehoven in an exclusive interview. "The two new asymmetrical buildings will shape a valley with new sightlines to the famous Dreischeiben tower and the curvy Schauspielhaus theatre. The western edge of the building is gently sloped and covered with grass to create a harmonious connection with the adjacent Hofgarten park.

“Apart from the positive effect on the microclimate, the project brings nature into the city. The urban transition between the shopping street and the park and the two plazas is achieved by this big, but highly interactive complex.”

Until recently the northern part of Düsseldorf’s inner city was dominated by an elevated road. After its demolition, a new visibility of famous city buildings was created and the design competition was held to commission a mixed-use building that could make the most of this new openness.

Italian architect Stefano Boeri recently told CLAD how vertical parks and forests, in which vegetation is allowed to take over the outside of buildings,is the way forward for planners seeking to promote wellness and sustainable urbanisation in our towns and cities.

He said: “The multiplication of green surfaces can find a balance between urban construction and the natural environment. A green surface can reduce the air temperature, sink CO2 levels and reduce noise. This not only adds quality to human life, but also helps to diminish the impact of man-made constructions on the natural environment and enriches the variety of living organisms.”

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International architects Ingenhoven have revealed construction will soon begin on a leisure complex that doubles as a vertical park in the heart of German city Düsseldorf.
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JP Lennard
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