Weltstadthaus (Cologne)

Cologne, Germany

Weltstadthaus (Cologne)


The Weltstadthaus ("global city building"), housing a department store in Cologne, Germany, was designed by Renzo Piano and completed in 2005, following a lengthy legal battle concerning the structural engineering of the core building. It covers up a main traffic artery, the Nord-Süd-Fahrt, and faces Europe's most frequented shopping mile, the Schildergasse.

With its usual, organic shape reminiscent of a ship, but also of a stranded whale -- Kölners have dubbed it the Walfisch--it provides 14.400 m² floor space, on a length of 130 m and a width of 60 m. The atrium offers a view of five stories with a height of 36 m. The 4900 m² glass façade is constructed from 6800 individual panes and 66 massive laminated beams of Siberian larch. The northern façade consists of 4.400 m² of natural stone.

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