Friday, April 30, 2010

modern architecture at Cologne

... moving up the Rhine to Cologne, where there is also an impressive new development lining a former harbour. Three "Kranhaus" blocks, with lift shafts dangling down from an impossibly weightless "crane" dominate the scene, though some of the other buildings are interesting as well, and a few real cranes have been left in place as reminders of the history of the place.

When I visited last year, all three Kranhaus blocks were still unfinished and fenced in. Now the southernmost one at least appears to be inhabited and is freely accessible.

Here are the three crane houses in context (finished one at the front, the least advanced at the back):

The view from below:

... and the elevator shaft from the side:

... ditto, at ground level:

Coming from the cathedral / main station, these are just a half hour walk along the river bank upstream (i.e. south). (Which reminds me, I should mention that unlike in some cities I could think of, one can actually walk along the river for miles and miles, the promenade is just spectacular.) Definitely worth the trip.

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