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Port of Mülheim

Parallel to the plan04 symposium in Cologne, Wansleben Architekten introduces an alternative residential-design for the port of Mülheim that facilitates the development of attractive livingspace in Köln-Mülheim and fulfils environmental requirements and neighbours interests.


The municipal lay-out plan based a concrete design allows building beyond the flood-protection wall.The design ‘living at the river’ intends to build more than 120 appartments. The main problem is the way it handles the high water of the Rhine. An architrave-like block of 5.000 sqm, 3 m above street level, is designed as a garage and storage rooms which will be flooded in cases of high water.

However the cars are parked in the Rhine’s flood detention area which is covered and sealed. The access from the waterfront of the Rhine will be blocked providing protection against the water as well as the inhabitants.

In this the alternative proposal by Wansleben Architekten differs from the recent design, taking the municipal layout plan as basis. It totally redesigns the base levels to provide a plinth which puts the building on stilts as happens all around the world in areas subject to flooding.

This creates a substantial connection on the ground level between the quarter and waterfront of the Rhine and preserves the existing green areas. This fundamental quality for the inhabitants and disappearing parking places in the flood detention area was the basic motivation for the alternative.

Instead of 120 units 90 units are proposed in agreement with a developer. This reduces the density by about 25 percent and makes it easier to integrate the project into the surroundings.