ingenhoven architects to reconfigure düsseldorf's city center with stepped green façades
ingenhoven architects to reconfigure düsseldorf's city center with stepped green façades ingenhoven architects to reconfigure düsseldorf's city center with stepped green façades
mar 20, 2016

ingenhoven architects to reconfigure düsseldorf's city center with stepped green façades

ingenhoven architects to reconfigure düsseldorf’s city center with stepped green façades
all images courtesy of ingenhoven architects




german practice ingenhoven architects has presented plans to strategically reconfigure the northern part of düsseldorf’s city center, which until recently, was dominated by an elevated road. after it was replaced by an underground tunnel, a new sense of openness and visibility revealed some of the city’s famous buildings. the curvy ‘schauspielhaus theater’ by bernhard pfau and the elegant ‘dreischeibenhaus’ office tower by hentrich, petschnigg & partner are distinctive structures from the 1960s that regained visibility.


in 2014, ingenhoven architects won an international urban design competition with ‘kö-bogen 2’ a proposal situated between gustaf-gründgens-plaza, the schadowstrasse shopping street and the new jan-wellem-plaza. the scheme mediates between the heights of the district’s existing buildings.

a valley-like axis connects the shopping district with the plaza in front of the theater




towards the hofgarten park and the theater, stepped green façades will feature hedges across the entire building’s height and its sloped roof. the almost four kilometers of hedges that cover the elevations and roof consist of a robust, local species, the hornbeam, commonly found in parks of the region. this vertical park is not merely something to look at, but can be experienced spatially. the expansive vegetation serves as a cold air reservoir and provides clean and moist air, countering the urban heat island effect. it will provide shade for the façades and act as a natural wind barrier at the foot of the nearby tower. apart from the positive effect on the micro-climate, the natural, ever changing façade shows the four distinct seasons in germany and brings nature into the city.

two new asymmetrical buildings shape a valley with new sightlines




the western edge is gently sloped and covered with grass to create continuity with the adjacent park, while the roof will become a public place for meeting, sunbathing and relaxation. towards the adjacent hofgarten park, the roof rises up to a height of 10 meters. a food market will feature restaurants and gourmet shops inside and outside of the new building. a valley-like axis connects the two public squares in front of the nearby theater, while the ‘dreischeiben’ tower and the ‘schauspielhaus theater’ will be framed and gain new vistas. the gustaf-gründgens-plaza will visually become part of the hofgarten park, converting the theater square into a stage for urban public life.

planting on the façades as it appears in autumn

the same site shown during winter months



project info:


location: düsseldorf, germany
status: international competition 2014, 1st prize
execution: 2014 – 2017
GFA: 31,000 sqm
client: city of düsseldorf
architect: ingenhoven architects
team: christoph ingenhoven, jakob hense, ben dieckmann, peter jan van ouwerkerk, lukas reichel, christian monning, jonas unger, andres pena gomez, nicolas witsch, peter pistorius, patrick esser, olga hartmann, daniel pehl



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: philip stevens | designboom

  • As of today, there still stands a privately-owned building directly in the middle of the stepped-facade project. The owner has absolutely no intention on selling, despite enormous offers from the City of Düsseldorf.

    Greetings from Dusseldorf,
    Tim D. Morand

    Tim D. Morand says:

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