hemmerling's rheinring arch provides city center for cologne
hemmerling's rheinring arch provides city center for cologne
jun 29, 2014

hemmerling's rheinring arch provides city center for cologne

located at the rhine carée between the two major bridges, the hohenzollernbrücke and the deutzer brücke, the ‘rheinring’ by marco hemmerling represents the center, as well as the link, between the two halves of cologne, germany. the circular construction concept, developed by stefan polonyi, serves as an attractive pedestrian walkway directly accessible from the historical altstadt to the west, and from the rhine boulevard to the east.

marco hemmerling rheinring cologne arch city center
all images courtesy of marco hemmerling



the free-floating ring above the river rhine is a light arch construction that picks up formal references from the flanking bridges, as well as the special buildings nearby like lanxess arena event center, the central station building, and museum ludwig. the geometry of the project is based on the mathematical model of a super ellipse, a flattened shape that mediates between the surrounding square and nearby round forms. above, the bridge blends smoothly into the context, and following the same formal principle, forms wider and narrower areas.

marco hemmerling rheinring cologne arch city center
view from deutz



the cantilever arch bridge is barrier-free, inviting access with its generously rounded passages to the water’s edge and to the existing platforms. here, the new pedestrian promenade joins the existing route to form a multi-layered road network. since the support-free suspension requires no additional bridge piers, river traffic moving along the north-south axis remains unaffected.

marco hemmerling rheinring cologne arch city center
view from rhein boulevard



with the mooring points located to the west of the rhine, traffic will now become evenly divided between both banks, giving each side equal importance as they will be oriented in opposite shipping directions. the body of water allows for a more intensive and innovative experience through the ‘rheinring’ as an urban space in the inner city where pedestrians and cyclists consistently circulate. this creates a great potential for cultural events, sports and leisure activities. 

marco hemmerling rheinring cologne arch city center
site plan



by linking the two sides of the site, the design takes up the important questions, which were proposed within the master plan for the inner city of cologne. as a solution, the ring structure of the metropolis gains a stronger identity created by the curving pedestrian bridge, which serves the needs of vehicular transportation systems and recreational programs, developing a new stage for public life.

hemmerling's rheinring arch provides city center for cologne
existing route ways

hemmerling's rheinring arch provides city center for cologne
proposed route ways 

hemmerling's rheinring arch provides city center for cologne
design model 

hemmerling's rheinring arch provides city center for cologne



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.

  • Yeah! Do that! Cologne needs a bit of beauty. But…don’t forget the clearance for the ships, also in case of high water level. Include bike lanes and light!

    Dirk16 says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
503,283 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample
designboom magazine