Cities everywhere are undergoing somewhat of a green renaissance, with public spaces and linear parks being built around existing infrastructure and buildings. In Düsseldorf, Germany, however, the buildings themselves are being greened, with hedged façades and a green roof that forms a park.
The redevelopment of this slice of Düsseldorf city center, between Gustaf-Gründgens-Plaza, the Schadowstrasse shopping street and the new Jan-Wellem-Plaza, follows the demolition of an elevated road. This opened up the space, providing views of some of the city’s iconic nearby buildings.
A new retail and office building was chosen for the location following an international design competition in 2014. Designed by competition winner Ingenhoven Architects, Kö-Bogen 2 will have hedges covering its stepped façades and the entirety of its roof. In total, the building is adorned in almost 4 km (2.5 mi) of hedges, making it quite unlike the vast majority of other buildings with green walls or roofs.
The species of hedge used is known as Hornbeam, which is said to be commonly found in parks around Düsseldorf and the surrounding region. It is robust, making it relatively low-maintenance, will help attract nature to city center and will change color with the seasons. In addition, it will provide, cool, clean and moist air to the adjacent spaces, as well as act as a wind barrier.
Across a pedestrian walkway from the stepped façade, the ground will begin to slope upwards, rising eventually to a height of 10 m (33 ft).This will be the roof of a second building, but will double as a new grassy public space for relaxing and meeting with others, complementing the green façade of the building opposite, and completing the newly greened landscaping of the area.
Although no date has been set for the construction of Kö-Bogen 2 to begin, Gizmag understands it will be around the middle of this year and the building is expected to be complete next year.