Revitalisation of a former storage building

Münster, Germany
Client: Wirtschaftsförderung Münster GmbH
Pre-selection architecture competition: 2017
Size: 6,900 m2

Economic changes in the city of Münster caused a transition from an industrial to a service based economy and allowed space to be freed up in the former port area along the Dortmund-Ems Canal. Together with the German architectural practice Schmucker und Partner, KOKO architects successfully applied to take part in an architectural competition for revitalisation of former storage houses built on the canal's south bank during the 1920s and 1950s.

KOKO’s design envisions retaining the original 1920s building while replacing those from the 1950s. The U-form of the volumes is connected by single-storey a timber-framed structure topped with a roof terrace and pergolas. The new buildings along the street edge reflect the old storage houses while playing with building heights and materiality. The timber construction is complemented by a pre-rusted corten steel façade in tribute to the former port of the surrounds. Drawing together and balancing old with new, the design creates a landmark for the south bank.

The ground floor is designed with active uses in mind. Exhibition space and gastronomy are linked by the “living room” along the canal side, while open workshops and studios are placed along the street side. The central area is home to the boat house of the local rowing club. A café is housed in a double height space, allowing it to serve both the ground floor, and the roof terrace and events area of the first floor. Additional uses of the first floor include the offices of the rowing club, rehearsal spaces and a fitness studio. The second floor includes office space for rent, studio and coworking space, while levels three to five include flexible spaces with fantastic views and could be used for offices or gastronomy.

High quality materials have been selected for the exterior spaces. Large format red and brown paving stones define the street-side yard, grey paving stones cover the boating setup area, and on the canal side the development is integrated into the existing streetscape through the use of granite paving.