Koschany + Zimmer Architects KZA took second place in the urban design competition for the site of the old Funke headquarters in Essen. The concept for the property in the area of Friedrichstrasse/Bert-Brecht-Strasse provides for a mixed use of apartments, offices and restaurants. The organizer of the competition was the investor OFB from Frankfurt

The concept of KZA follows the claim to create an urban quarter that conveys identity. Three buildings in the northern area of the property are interlocked in a way that creates interesting spatial sequences in public and semi-public space as well as various open space situations. The buildings divide the quarter and meet the diverse needs of the residents.

In order to ensure a pleasant atmosphere, the office buildings in the west form a sound insulation back to Hans-Böckler-Straße. In the eastern area there are mainly apartments that represent a deliberately introverted part with their private courtyard. The central high point in the southern area is home to hotel business, restaurants and exclusive living space. North of the high point is a public green space.

Public space serves connection

With the development of further construction phases, the entire area unfolds its full potential. Due to the preservation of the listed Osramhaus and the connection of a perimeter block development, the quarter is completed on the western edge. A central square on Sachsenstrasse serves the public as an important place to stay, including cafés and shopping facilities. Sachsenstrasse is abandoned in this section, so that the public space connects the two construction phases.

Bicycle parking and roof gardens

The quarter is traffic-calmed and offers bicycle parking spaces both above ground and in the underground garages. A large part of the underground car park ceilings and underground parts of the building can be landscaped and provide translucent, interesting open spaces of various qualities. All flat roofs are extensively landscaped, with some of the roofs being designed as roof gardens, thus livening up the quarters at the next higher level.