The crane houses in Cologne and their Bridge construction technology

Hey guys,

Today I would like to introduce you to a small part of Cologne (and more will follow in my next posts, because Cologne is the city I live in, and have been doing so for almost three years now). Its a really small part of Cologne: the crane houses that stand directly on the Rhine, just a few minutes' walk from Cologne Cathedral.

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This is my favourite photo that I took of the crane houses

There are three crane buildings in total. They are located directly on the Rhine. From them you must have an incredibly beautiful view. They are one of the highlights for people walking along the Rhine.
The crane houses are called Kranhaus Süd, Kranhaus 1 and Kranhaus Nord (from the Rhine side).
The crane houses are thus called all three. Architecturally, the three high-rise buildings can be seen as one unit. They are all between 61 and 70 metres high and just over 30 metres wide. They are located in the southern part of the old town.

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How exactly did the architects come up with the idea of the "crane houses"?

Once upon a time, Cologne's Rheinauhafen was a port with a special function for various types of transport and goods. This importance diminished over the course of time. This was because the port facilities had become very outdated and were being replaced by other, better-equipped ports.
For this reason, the old harbour area was then to be converted into a "leisure and recreation facility" around 1980.

Above all, new flats and especially office buildings were now built directly on the banks of the Rhine. And above all, the office buildings also include the crane houses. It is true that you can also live in the crane houses. But in fact a large part of them are used more as commercial buildings. And as you can imagine, the rents for both living and working are astronomically high here (they already are in Cologne, but the location and such an architectural highlight don't make it any better ;)).
The crane buildings were designed by the Aachen architect Alfons Linster and the Hamburg architectural firm Bothe, Richter, Teherani (BRT).
As you can see from the photos, they have an inverted L-shape. It is mainly because of their shape that they have become so famous; they look like a crane. The outriggers are modelled on the Rhine.

Unfortunately, legal disputes also usually arise where so much money is earned. Also in the case of the Crane Houses.
The question was who is the "author" of the crane houses. This is what the Federal Court of Justice decided in 2009: Alfons Linster is co-author of the crane houses of the "workshop design".

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Bridge construction technology with state-of-the-art architecture

Probably most people are fascinated by the unique architecture of the Kranhaus. I've really never seen buildings like this anywhere else. Not only the modernity of them (because you see more and more glass buildings like this), but the L-shape is unique.

First, Kranhaus One was built (that's probably why the name;)). This was started in 2006. Crane Building One is a steel truss construction. The two-part boom rests "only" on a very thin stair tower. The stair tower is fully glazed. Call me weird, but I like buildings you can see into lol.
What I found very interesting is that the L-shape of the crane buildings is partly based on the construction and architecture of bridges and bridge-building techniques. When you look closer, you can actually see that quite well.

Also interesting to know: The three crane houses were not built at the same time, but one after the other. As I said, Kranhaus ONE came first, then Kranhaus Süd and then Kranhaus Nord. This was built about two years later than the first crane house. The opening took place in October 2010. It is now impossible to imagine Cologne's modern cityscape without the crane houses.

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„Im Zollhafen“

Kranhaus 1 and Kranhaus Süd are office buildings, Kranhaus Nord is a residential building.
Kranhaus Nord, as you might expect, contains luxury condominiums. If you want to treat yourself to a rented flat here, the prices start at around 3000 euros with almost no limit on the way up. One can dream ;) The average price here is 6000 euros/m². There are a total of 18 floors in the Kranhaus Nord. Although the other two crane buildings "only" have 15 floors, all three crane buildings have almost the same height. Why is that ? This is because the flats in the residential building are built lower and the offices have higher ceilings.
The crane buildings are located on the only street on the Rheinau peninsula. The street is called "Im Zollhafen" and the house numbers are 12, 18 and 24. The crane houses are not directly next to each other, but there is some space between them. In between are "The Bench" (between Kranhaus Süd and Kranhaus 1) and "Halle 12" (between Kranhaus 1 and Kranhaus Nord).

I hope you enjoyed the post as much as I enjoyed writing it (Cologne makes it even more fun to write a post). And that was really just one of the many sights of Cologne. Be curious about my further posts :) See you next time!

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