Via Culturalis – Groundbreaking Ceremony for Gürzenichstrasse

Spatenstich_Gürzenichstraße: from left Eva Hare (Head of the Urban Planning Office), Professor Stefan Lenzen (Landscape Architect), Mayor Henriette Reeker and Askan Egerer (Local Mobility Council Member) (Photo: Cologne)

Cologne. Launching the media program for Urban Development Finance Day

With a symbolic opening ceremony at the Günter-Wand-Platz in Gürzenichstraße, Mayor Henriette Reker, with landscape planning architect Professor Stefan Lenzen, Deputy Mobility, Ascan Egerer, Head of the Urban Planning Office, Eva Herr, and Klaus Harzendorf, Head of the Office for Road and Traffic Development The start of the modernization of the cultural village “Via Culturalis” today, Saturday, May 14, 2022.

Mayor Henriette Reeker said: “Our cultural district continues to improve in quality. As the staircase to Capitol Hill takes shape a few meters away, we begin another prototype project for the future of Via Culturalis with the redesign of Gürzenichstrasse. One of the components that you can see here today also is the goal of the uniform design of the walls of the construction site in the Via Culturalis. This is to ensure that the cityscape is actually updated during the construction period. In the sense of the exhibition in the public space, content on the themes of “City – Culture – History” is prepared. This was already implemented last year in the form of a pilot project on the northern steps of the cathedral and will continue on the Via Calcharales in the future.”

Federal Funding Project Details

The street space between Heumarkt and Hohestrasse, including the Günther-Wand-Platz area, will be comprehensively reorganized with natural stone unobstructed surfaces. This creates a harmonious relationship with the adjacent streets of the Old Town and the entire Gürzenich district. The quality of accommodation in this culturally significant public space is enhanced by elegant street furniture. The entire design is given a restrained and high-quality impression. Existing urban spaces remain tangible in their proportions and historical and cultural buildings come to the fore.

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The costs are about 6.4 million euros. Via Culturalis is funded by approximately 5.5 million euros by the Federal Ministry of Housing, Urban Development and Construction as part of the “National Urban Development Projects” programme.

via Culturalis

Via Culturalis is a measure of the urban master plan for Cologne city centre. He describes the plan to make the traces of two thousand years of urban and cultural history visible and tangible in the public space between Cologne Cathedral and St. Maria im Capitol. The design approach for the entire Via Culturalis area aims to unify the street cross-sections within the ‘core area of ​​the Culture Trail’ and integrate them into a higher level design concept.

With the stairs in St. Maria im Kapitol, which has been under construction since November 2021, and a remodeling of Gürzenichstraße, the southern part of Via Culturalis is now being upgraded.

construction details

Gürzenichstrasse is still a one-way street parallel to the Gürzenich building. The western part, between Große and Kleine Sandkaul, will be converted into a pedestrian zone, with a permit for bicycle traffic and time windows for delivery. Convenient pedestrian contact between the Heumarkt and Schildergasse is ensured by the Kleine Sandkaul crossing. All surfaces are unobstructed throughout in gray grout.

The actual diversion work is preceded by the canal construction work currently underway between Heumarkt and Kleine Sandkaul. The redesign of the traffic areas is expected to start at the end of June 2022. The entire construction project will take about two and a half years.

frame and perspective

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In the funding period to 2024, the Kulturquartier will be further created and made tangible. For example, the structural fences of construction projects in the old town are uniformly designed in the sense of exhibition in the public space. With this exhibition, but also via the Via Culturalis app and website (www.viaculturalis.cologne) By 2024, interesting content from the areas of the city, culture and history will be linked editorially and made available to the general public of the city. The “Via Culturalis” exhibition that began in the spring of 2021 will continue on the cathedral steps with the designed construction site ramparts at St. Maria im Kapitol and now also in the construction area of ​​Gürzenichstraße. In this way, the structural development and content delivery of the cultural quarter shake hands on an equal footing. As part of today’s event – Urban Development Promotion Day – several guided tours along the Kulturquartier were offered to the public free of charge: in addition, a pop-up café with an information point was set up in Günter-Wand-Platz for continuity and exchange of ideas

The construction decision of May 21, 2019 can be found at https://ratsinformation.stadt-koeln.de/vo0050.asp?__kvonr=86177 can be retrieved. Information on construction work can be found at https://www.stadt-koeln.de/leben-in-koeln/verkehr/umgestaltung-der-guerzenichstrasse to look at her. Information about the comprehensive Via Culturalis project: www.viaculturalis.cologne

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