A press group. An editor. A site already marked by old industrial buildings and a printing house. The program: a head office. Nouvel wanted to create a strong company image, to make a building that could plainly illustrate end-of-the-century modernity and would, with the laying-out of a site, reveal layers of traces of older buildings, the printing house, and the cultural market.
Layering would be accentuated by the reading of an underground car-park invaded by water and vegetation, partially open to the sky and which appears to be disassociated and prior to the office building.
It's about composing an urban landscape. The property is delimited by trees at the perimeter, with reinforced vegetation to create a dense background and efface transitions with the neighbors. Within this green framework everything is superimposed : reading through depth of space, transparency, views against the light, reflections.
Light in a glass building is composed of several successive layers. The facades affirm their glazed nature with their glass-fin structure. The principle structure, of round posts in mirror-polished steel, disappears.
Printed glass materializes each elevation. The ensemble is protected from overheating by a huge parasol canopy which has a controllable porosity to light, allowing a diffusion of light from 20% to 80%. The development is posed on a mirror of water reflecting the sky, light and buildings.
The building is a place for printing and constituting information, translated in the facades as production of signs of the present. The project offers great flexibility and density where one can change the nature of the levels or relations between the services. It is also a place based on the pleasure of belonging to a very elaborate visual world where the quality of views and light are factors of the blossoming of work.
- Status: Competition - Winning scheme
- Location: Cologne, Germany
- Dates: April 1990: competition win; 1991 september: APS, APD; 1994: PC
- Gross floor area: 37800 m2
- Net floor area: 25 000 m2
- Type of commission: Private
- Client: DuMont Schauberg
- Program: Publishing house, headquarters, printing house
- Jean Nouvel, Emmanuel Cattani & Associés
- Project Manager: Sophie Berthelier, Laurent Niget
- Architects: Thierry Marco, Emmanuelle Lechevalier, Anne Steichen, Franca Comalini, Laurent Niget, Alberto Medem, James Noble
- BET consultants: HL Tecknick, Mr. Behr , Prof Polonyi partners, Mr. Worgenberg
- External consultants: Sophie Thomas, Talya Biogio
- Structure: Ove Arup
- Fluids: Ove Arup
- CADdesign: Antoine Assi
- Model: Etienne Follenfant, Eric Deleusse
- Pictures: Nicolas Borel