Mixed-Use Complex Proposed for Kiel

Kiel, Germany – 28 January 2019


MVRDV have released details of their proposed mixed-use complex, designed to redevelop a post-industrial site in Kiel, Germany. The 65,000-square-meter proposal will adopt a flexible design system, as opposed to a fixed, unchangeable plan, thus allowing the scheme to adapt to future demands as the design development progresses.

Labeled the “KoolKiel,” MVRDV’s scheme will occupy an existing large, single-story building previously used to store chains of ships, and for the printing of Germany’s famous Werner comics in the 1980s. The site’s current use as a hub for media and creative industries and its resulting charismatic identity has strongly influenced the MVRDV scheme, with the retention of the existing structure and lively, playful exterior spaces.

The existing structure, now named the “W8 Medienzentrum,” will be converted into commercial units topped with apartments, where it will sit alongside a new building. This cubic addition, sitting atop a zig-zagging plinth of offices and shops, will contain several blocks of housing, and a tower of office spaces. At one end of the site, a 250-room hotel tower will connect to the plinth through a public event space used to host community-organized events and exhibitions.

The scheme places a heavy emphasis on “lively exterior spaces” with a courtyard between the buildings filled with a variety of street furniture, and a rooftop parking winding around the three cubic housing blocks. The scheme’s façade panels, made from fiber-reinforced concrete, have been designed to display a variety of icons inspired by local creative output, activated by interior lighting.

By considering the design as a flexible system, rather than a fixed concept, the scheme allows many opportunities for community input. The cubic arrangement of the scheme means its final construction may fall anywhere along a range of options, “from a conservative series of boxes to a wacky yet charismatic collection of cantilevers and iconography.” The final size and number of cantilevers on the hotel tower are still open for change, as is the extent of pictographic panels, and size, number, and layout of apartments in the existing building.

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