The listed building, with its neo-gothic front, was built in 1860 and is located in the very city center of Cologne, close to the romanic St. Gereon’s Basilica. The 4.5 meters (13 ½ feet) wide building started as an addition to a larger structure with the same façade which was destroyed in the war.
During a renovation in the 70’s, the historical sandstone front of the building was covered with dark grey tiles, and many other original elements were removed or left to rot. In a much more thorough renovation in 2001/2002 we saw to the careful restoration of the original façade. As architects, we strove to modernize the structure, while retaining and revealing its unique, historic charm.
Thorough Renovation took place in 2001-2002. We preserved such historic details as the wooden stairwell, stucco ceilings, gothic windows and the neo-gothic façade or rebuilt them as close to the original as possible. The previous 12 apartments were put together to form 8 comfortable apartment units. On the 3rd and 4th upper floors, we created generous apartments by building a raised sleeping gallery over the bathroom area to maximize living space.
The previous ceilings, lowered to 2.2 meters (6 ½ feet) were removed to reveal the full height of the original rooms, up to 4.2 meters (13 feet), thereby freeing the historical stucco and the tall, high-format windows. An oiled oakwood floor was laid over acoustical insulation on all levels.
All baths are newly furnished with white-tiled walls and gray-tiled floors. For the spacious attic apartment, we completely rebuilt and raised the roof, adding four windows which look out onto the majestic St. Gereon church. The loggia, behind its historical sandstone masonry, offers a panoramic view over Cologne and the towers of the Cathedral.
The façade, made of tuff and sandstone from the same quarry that provided stone for the Cathedral, was heavily damaged by the elements, pigeons, and decades of neglect. Thus, many window sills and cornices had to be replaced, the stepped gable rebuilt, and various neo-gothic, hand-carved details had to be crafted. The entire ground-floor façade, tiled in the 70’s, was freed, cleaned and partially rebuilt. New wooden window frames were built according to the original, historical formats. Occasional bullet holes from World War II were left untouched as indelible, historical footnotes.