The newly designed, restructured Rheinauhafen waterfront complex is a young and attractive district of Cologne. The 210,000 m² development, which is located right on the Rhine, not far from to the city center, has quickly become established as one of Cologne’s popular attractions. The waterfront district features a mix of modern residential and office buildings interspersed with many cafés, restaurants, and galleries. And visitors with a passion for architecture and culture will also find points of interest in the Rheinauhafen.
The centerpiece of the new Cologne promenade is the trio of buildings called the “Kranhäuser” (crane towers), which rise to a height of about 60 meters. The buildings, which are shaped like hoisting cranes, are defining elements of the skyline on the west bank of the Rhine.
Also on the west bank of the Rhine is a newly opened four-star superior hotel — the trapezoid-shaped art’otel cologne. On permanent display in this eye-catching building with its colorful windows are dramatic and picturesque collages by the Korean artist SEO, a former advanced student in Georg Baselitz's master classes.
The Häfen und Güterverkehr Köln AG company and the city of Cologne began to redesign the old waterfront area and develop unused lots in 1998. The design for the revitalization was created by the renowned Hamburg-based architecture firm Bothe, Richter, Teherani.
Many old structures were extensively renovated to suit their new uses, including the waterfront area’s former granary, called the “Siebengebirge” (seven hills) by local residents because of its seven steeply sloping gables. The mingling of historic landmark buildings and modern architecture is a characteristic feature of the Rheinauhafen.