As a monolithic building, the new Cologne Casino is designed to have a stabilizing effect on the architecturally diverse surroundings of Ottoplatz square near the Cologne-Deutz train station. Programmatic complexity, urban challenges and strict specifications with regard to height and volume have been translated into an appealing and novel space continuum.
The design combines the seemingly contradictory dialectic of casino and parking garage to offer a new type of architecture. A building frame clad in a translucent sheath houses the restaurants and the parking garage, while the casino operations are divided across the space framed by the large-scale cutouts in the exterior envelope. An escalator staged within the space moves from story to story, connecting the different zones of the building. Swathed in an intricate sheath of shimmering sequins, the façade gives the building its unique architectural expression. The opaque glass shingles become less and less transparent towards the top and create an amorphous, multi-layered effect. The appearance changes with the seasons and the time of day, making the building seem almost like a pulsating, living being.
Inside, the casino is set within a series of large, interconnected domes that are mirrored in the arched windows of the façade. The top floor offers impressive views of the Rhine, the Cologne cityscape and the Cathedral.
Competition 2016, 1st prize
Investor: Westdeutsche Spielbanken GmbH & Co. KG
Gross floor area: 15790 m²
Gross volume: 66886 m³
Wagner, Alexandra (Lead)
Vogeley, Philipp (Lead)
Welzien, Janosch (Project Leader)
Knippers Helbig GmbH, Stuttgart (Structural design)
hhpberlin, München (Fire proofing)
Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH, München (Energy planning)