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Color Tone. The Colors Of Cologne

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Color Tone. The Colors Of Cologne
Color Tone. The Colors Of Cologne

Video: Color Tone. The Colors Of Cologne

Video: Color Tone. The Colors Of Cologne
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Many European cities have their own color tone. For the design of a new urban development project, the planners have developed a conceptual color approach for the cathedral city of Cologne.

Author: Christian Heuchel | Photos: O&O Baukunst

Reddish fireclay, yellowish-white kaolin, a green earth tone and gray tones that were created by soot mixed with chalk - these are the colors of Cologne, according to the artist Kirsten Lampert and the Cologne-based architecture firm O&O Baukunst.

A city in the city emerges

The starting point for the development of colors by the architect and artist is a new development area on the southern edge of Cologne's inner city: With Parkstadt Süd, a quarter with apartments and workplaces for 10,000 people is to be created on the area around the old wholesale market in the next 15 years. The planning team made up of landscape architects and mobility planners around the architect and urban planner Christian Heuchel want to counteract the conformity of urban planning and make living spaces lively again and create identity. Last but not least, an authentic color palette anchored in the city's history should ensure this.

Roman lights to Cologne colors

Kirsten Lampert went in search of this task and found it right next to the Cologne Cathedral. The Roman-Germanic Museum is located there and a visit to the exhibition is mandatory for anyone interested in the city's history. The artist especially noticed the oil lamps and other everyday Roman objects. The different shades of the fired clay, the delicate colored remains of the Rhenish sand and the dark traces of soot are witnesses to the modernity and urbanity of ancient Cologne. She was certain: With these colors, the longing for the recognizability of your own living environment can be fulfilled much better and the reservations that are always there when a new building is built. Her color concept takes up the thread of history very effortlessly and leads to a certain continuity in our fast-paced times. The different shades of color of these relics formed the basis for a preliminary palette, which is also presented as part of the colorCODES study by the IIT (Institute International Trendscouting) of the HAWK Hildesheim.

Sound of color: signals to the citizen

Basically, the planners follow the approach that urban development projects need to send clear signals to the citizens, because a huge new development area is initially a foreign body in the city and must first be brought closer to the people. To do this, they need someone who sets the rules for quality and makes decisions. That is why the idea arose to introduce a Veedels master builder for this urban district, who is the sponsor of the project and a competent contact person at eye level for all matters. Christian Heuchel's “Veedels Handbook” presents the entire project in individual sections. It starts with "The Colors of Cologne", soon to be followed by "The Lights of Cologne" and "The Texture of Cologne". Special exhibitions will then explain how the neighborhood moves into the urban space,is integrated into the history and topography of Cologne.

The location-based approach is of particular relevance for architect Heuchel. Be it as a reference to the architectural context or to the scenery of the surrounding city and its history.

Further information:



“The colors of Cologne” were first created by architect Christian Heuchel at the FAF - Color, Extension & Facade 2019 in Cologne

Presented to the public.