Office

Norbert Wansleben, born 1954 and native of Cologne, gained a remarkable reputation for his inner-city and city-peripheral projects as an independent architect. The office –founded in 1987- focuses on residential buildings and areas as well as office- and commercial properties.
 
Extra attention is paid to integrating individual solutions into heterogeneous contexts. Many projects involve the conversion of former industrial areas.
 
Numerous projects were honored by different prizes, rewards and honorable mentions. 1987 Wansleben taught at the department of housing at the RWTH-Aachen, from 1995-98 he had a teaching assignment for the subject area "Planning and building in existing structures". The transfer from design- and structural theories into practical planning characterizes the office-philosophy.
 
The rising importance of converting existing structures and quarters requires a contemporary discussion about context. “Wansleben-Architekten” react with a structural conception of the location. Not the question of style but of attitude is emphasized. This attitude consists in an analysis of local histories; this analysis then influences the choice of architectonical resources, functionality and constructive logic. Finally, the design of new buildings aims at connecting these buildings to existing textures.
 
This approach leads to individual, project-centered solutions. What units all projects is the comprehensibility of design decisions. Through the interference of logical segments complexity arises.
 
Characteristic for Wansleben’s projects is the sensible selection of basic materials such as exposed concrete, steel and wood: Compare projects such as the Koninklijke Marechaussee in Amsterdam (2009), the rational construction of structurally autonomic elements like the Port Event Center in the MediaHarbour in Düsseldorf (2002) or the composition of single "houses" together constituting the day-care-center "Zipfelmützen" in Cologne (1995, honorable mention Kölner Architekturpreis).
 
The highly communicative architecture of Wansleben’s office has proved successful, especially in solution-oriented collaborations with private principals, public authorities and developers.
 
Among the outstanding realized projects, there are the conversion of the former textile factory "Ermen und Engels" in Engelskirchen to a town-hall, industrial museum, dwellings and business enterprises (in collaboration with Baucoop Köln 1986; "Walter Hesselbach Award", honorable mention "Deutscher Architekturpreis"), conversion of a former Prussian provisions-storage at the "Rheinauhafen Cologne" to "Bürgerhaus Stollwerk" (in collaboration with Baucoop Köln, 1987; honorable mention "Mies van der Rohe Award", "Kölner Architekturpreis" 1990), the residential complex "Zum Gremberger Wäldchen" in Cologne (1993, advancement award "Junge Architekten"), the new warehouse "Köln Advent" in Cologne-Mülheim (1996, exhibited as exemplary commercial property during the Cologne architectural-week "Plan99"), the Port Eventcenter at the MediaHarbour Düsseldorf including the so-called "Wolkenbügel" (horizontal skyscraper) (2002, Fire-Protection Award) and last but not least the Koninklijke Marechaussee in Amsterdam as Wansleben’s contribution to an international competition invited by the Dutch Ministry of Defence (2009, nominated for the Golden Amsterdams Architecture Award (Gouden AAP2009)).

wansleben architekten