Otto Plaza is flanked by buildings, which vary greatly in urban structure. In its plasticity and symmetry, the Cologne-Deutz train station forms an expansive horizontal plane, while the planned Cologne One high-rise on the eastern side of the plaza demonstrates an entirely vertical one. A symmetrical axis leads across the plaza towards the station, its vanishing point emphasizing the station dome. Based on their perspective and positioning, the buildings exhibit a weak relationship to one another, leaving sections of the plaza without any clear spatial boundaries.

A proposal is put forth to bolster the spatial quality of the plaza by simplifying the area with a uniform pavement and by making stronger spatial connections to the surrounding buildings. Tree groupings supplement the missing spatial boundaries and mediate between the different building heights. The plaza’s surface is additionally raised above the surrounding environment by two steps.

Crosswise, the plaza integrates the sight lines of the surrounding buildings into the pattern of the pavement as it cuts across the area. This situation also incorporates plaza furnishings and lighting elements into the design.

Lengthwise, the pavement consists of elongated fields of different limestone slabs, which complement the hues of the surrounding buildings and accentuate the symmetrical alignment of the train station. The alteration of color creates an exciting spatial effect, reinforcing the longitudinal direction of the pavement design.


Ulrike Böhm, Cyrus Zahiri, Katja Benfer, Anna Jan, Tim Wildner, Bastian Wahler, Lilith Schaffer