Köln Messe / Deutz train station



Part of the VDI competition Bahnhof Köln Messe / Deutz and one of 18 entries that were presented in front of a jury. The NVR (Nahverkehr Rheinland, public transport oranisation) gave additional positive feedback especially praising the passenger flow and real world applicability of the design.

The brochure with all submitted entries as well as additional information can be downloaded via this link (German).

Group project with 4 architecture students (Magdalena Stephan, Constantin Wiemer, Dennis Mertens, Florian Elshoff), 2 engineering students (Anna-Lena Hölper, Oliver Reluga) and tutoring by Sebastian Inhofer


The new train station creates a direct connection between the convention center and Cologne-Deutz. Every platform can be accessed from this direct path and their same design and order offer a great overview to arriving and departing passengers and commuters alike.



These walkways down to the platform create a module that also includes shops and other neccessary functions. Lining these modules up creates the train station interior




The module is constructed using two folding bands that order the exterior space while also developing into an interior space. The actual folding lines are derived from various influences like lighting, viewpoints and the underlying construction. Any technical functions as well as additional storage space is integrated into these bands.





Even the information and guiding system is integrated into the bands or consists of the bands themselves. The dark band always leads into the building so that these situations are always identical to passengers. These dark passages as well as the walls create a rhythm inside the train station that further increases ease of use and orientation. Engraved platform numbers make it very clear where the passages lead. Platform-specific monitors inform passengers about any delays or changes for these areas. The walls opposite of the passages guide the arrivals to their destination without them having to look for that information. Both entrances contain big monitors and each waiting area contains smaller ones integrated into the seating.





The entrances are lowered to separate arrivals and departures from switching passengers and to regulate the flow within the station. Luggage storage is also located here.

Waiting areas between platform passages separate waiting passengers further from the stream of moving people while also giving a very scenic overview towards the Rhine, Cologne cathedral and downtown Cologne.



Gastronomic and shop spaces enhance the convention center plaza without intruding on the train station logistics. The old train station building is used as a bike station and information center for mobility and accessibility as well as a new restaurant that makes use of the vintage interior to cater to the convention center guests. DB-Netz facilities stay at their current place.

The whole area merges into one design language that joins building scale with people scale.


The inclusion of a mobility station tajes modern trends towards more CO2-conscious mobility concepts into account and gives passengers more options in their modes of transportation. Car parking is located by the new stair landscape and subway connection and includes special parking for car sharing. E-bikes can be rented close to these parking spots. Further bike racks are located throughout the station by the entrances. The mobility station in the old building further includes bike rentals, bike repair and secured bike storage lockers. A new bus stop right by the Deutz entrance connects the train station as well as the subway to the bus lines.




The train station produces its own energy by using a modern version of photovoltaic elements mixed into the concrete structure. This so called DysCrete also takes advantage of diffuse indirect light and can therefore be used anywhere on the structure without regard for perfect alignment towards the sun. This creates roughly 300.000 kWh of annual power on a usable surface area of 14.000 square meters. Heating and cooling is done by using a geothermal system with wells underneath the covention center platform. Rainwater is also collected and used for toilets.

Eight HVAC-modules are integrated into the bands and pump fresh air through floor ducts into the station while recycling the used air from the ceiling.


The varied opportunities for environmentally friendly transportation as well as much increased usability, accessibility and order transform the station Köln Messe / Deutz into a true “train station of the future”.