Roman Trade Tradition: Hohe Strasse 52 in Cologne by Kuehn Malvezzi
At number 52 on Cologne’s Hohe Strasse, one of Germany’s most-frequented shopping streets, commercial history goes far back into the urban-planning past. In Roman times, the thoroughfare known as the Cardo Maximus flowed into the central trade area and marketplace. Today, the south side of the inner city by the old forum of Roman Colonia has been enhanced with the presence of a new building in the form of a large retail shop by Kuehn Malvezzi.
The core of the design expresses itself in the façade, which features all-around window displays as the development of an urban commercial building with a plinth, middle zone and attic level. Along the surrounding streets, an arcade comprising posts 70 cm wide encompasses the lot. While the middle zone of the retail property consists of above-ground sales areas, the showcase-like glass openings serve as display windows.
The structural framework of the two main storeys repeats itself at the attic level, but to half-scale: according to the architects from Kuehn Malvezzi, a continuous attic band alternates between an open and closed appearance. A cornice crowns the upper section of the façade, while a sloping roof provides the required calm.