Cologne . 2015

Exhibition halls
Koelnmesse 3.0


Revitalization and expansion
Koelnmesse (Cologne Trade Fair)

Revitalization and expansion
Koelnmesse (Cologne Trade Fair)

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The Confex/1Plus halls are a major addition to the Koelnmesse as an international player, at the same time enhancing its west side facing the Rheinhallen and the Rheinpark and the MesseCity to the south. A symbolic building complex consisting of two slender structures is set apart from the existing development. The gesture of its amply projecting roofs creates a sense of new independence, enhancing the profile of the place towards the east and south. Confex and 1Plus hall echo the contours of halls 2 and 5 and are combined by their shared roof into a single structure that closes the trade fair complex off towards the railway to the west. Structurally, the organisation and expanse of the terminal follow the master plan and constitute an east-west facing counterpart of equal scale to the new Confex/1plus hall. Towards the east, an umbrella-style roof creates an inviting gesture to public space, offering access protected from the weather.


Depending on the particular structural requirements, solutions involving reinforced concrete, prestressed concrete, steel or composite were chosen for the load-bearing structure of the trade fair extensions Confex, 1plus hall, and terminal. Key factors in addition to economic efficiency were sustainability and lean design in order to obtain a flexible, lightweight structure. Thanks to the column-free exhibitions areas with an overall internal height of twelve metres, the new halls are extremely flexible in terms of use. A luminous ceiling creates a bright ceiling surface and reflects the homogeneity of the new-build. The façades of the new structures speak a common language: the foyer areas, shaded by projecting roofs, have maximum transparency and are defined by vertical formats. All other, semitransparent to opaque surfaces are lined with upright, edged panels, expanded mesh elements that combine all areas of the façade to create a single surface. This affords the glazed surfaces the necessary exterior sunshading. At night, the expanded mesh surfaces are backlit for enhanced profile. In contrast to the strong relief of the existing red halls, the new façades will have a predominantly whitish-silver, metallic surface and will consist of two elements: a closed strip deriving from the parapet of the run-around boardwalk and a slatted structure that appears closed when viewed foreshortened, but which is actually permeable, affording views from the inside out and vice versa. Towards the outside, the new trade fair centre presents its bright face to the city; towards the inside, the link between the 1plus and Confex halls with the terminal reflects the attractiveness and identity of the new trade fair centre.

Facts and Figures

Project Location

Cologne, Germany


Competition _ 2015

Data on construction

Gross floor area _ 29.000 m²


Koelnmesse GmbH, Cologne

In collaboration with

ASTOC Architects and Planners, Cologne

Landscape architecture

FSWLA Landschaftsarchitektur, Düsseldorf


Riegler Riewe Architekten