Transparent building cubes create the feeling of interior and exterior spaces melting into each other at Essen central station
The initial situation ahead for Mailaender Consult was the restructuring process of the empty space at the south side of the main station Essen. The space was solely dominated by traffic and at the same time it had to cope with a high volume of pedestrians, who had to change here to reach their destinations. In addition, the rather tired-looking glass roof contributed to the general desolate appearance at the back of the station.
The task ahead for Mailaender Consult was to redevelop the Essen Verkehrs AG (EVAG). The team decided to tackle the neglected south side of the main station for the jubilee of 'Cultural City 2010'. The aim was to create a worthy entrance to the city of Essen. Important facilities for travellers were to be erected here. Furthermore, the subject of sustainability and energy efficiency were an important aspect in the city of international energy concerns.
Mailaender Consult together with Dreibund Architekten developed a covered area with high-quality 'resting and waiting' facilities, a 'Corso'. They created two building cubes under a large overhanging steel construction roof, impressively dominating the entrance to the main station from the southern approach. The highly transparent construction created the feeling of interior and exterior spaces melting into each other, where the EVAG and DB travel centres become part of the newly created space. The jointless constructed roof engulfs the whole area in a golden light and with its clear architectural shape presents a distinct separation from the adjacent traffic.
The concept distinguishes itself by its reduced shapes. Simple materials elaborated and finished by high-quality craftsmanship, identify themselves with the location and create a place full of atmosphere at the same time. A photovoltaic system on the roof, concrete core tempering and using sun protection glass contribute to the building to achieve a low energy standard despite its complete glass fronts. All customer areas can be reached barrier-free. The project was completed in 2010.