Cinematic construction of a new facade for the WDR Filmhaus in Cologne
A façade designed and built entirely by Implenia is the visible sign of the completed refurbishment of the WDR Filmhaus at Appellhofplatz in Cologne. Behind it is a series of special services. How does such an elaborate, inner-city building succeed? Project manager Janpeter Simon from Implenia Fassadentechnik provides some insight.
The new glass exterior façade of the WDR Filmhaus, consisting of more than 350 floor-to-ceiling aluminum sliding windows within sight of Cologne Cathedral, refreshes the cityscape today. Looking back, there were enormous challenges behind it.
Special design, planning and structural solutions had to be devised to accommodate building tolerances. This made the Implenia team more independent in terms of time and planning. Planning and fabrication could therefore be carried out essentially without the need for measurements.
The coordination of the various partial services relating to metal construction, exposed precast concrete parts, glass roofs, roof superstructures, bridge structures, the glass shed facade, the impact glass structures and the sliding elements was complex.
The assembly and transport concepts had to take many parameters into account: Deadlines, space and logistics resources, and the close interlocking of components. Greatly complicating matters: The WDR refurbishment was implemented in the context of the Corona pandemic and the Ukraine war, with unpredictable influences on personnel and resource planning. Delays in the supply chains complicated the work.
Implenia seeks good, solution-oriented cooperation with all internal and external parties involved in the planning process, in addition to the clients and the builders, as well as with the respective facade consultant. Work on the building project should be simpler and more forward-looking - with this in mind, the Implenia team repeatedly offered proactive suggestions in terms of planning, logistics and construction scheduling.
Building in the city center
Implenia has a lot of experience with construction sites in tight spaces in busy city centers. Cologne Cathedral is a tourist attraction, and its proximity to the train station also develops pull forces for streams of people. Here, it is important to set up the project in such a way that there are as few or no restrictions as possible.
In principle, deadlines are the main focus when working out ideas regarding construction logistics. The team collects all the ideas to meet the inner-city construction logistics, probes the situation and draws up a preliminary concept that is coordinated with all project stakeholders at an early stage. This also includes paperwork: Inquiries to authorities and obtaining permits are a key success factor for inner-city projects. If collisions occur despite all the creative ideas, they are made transparent and coordinated.
Responding to special requests quickly and without complications - even without additional execution plans - is the specialty of the Implenia team. It is digitally positioned, works together in an agile manner and acts on an equal footing with all partners. The refurbishment of a 20-meter-long, 25-ton steel bridge is not an everyday occurrence, which makes it all the more motivating: off-site, the team completely gutted the bridge, renewed the corrosion protection and reinstalled it at the site as a link between two buildings using special transport. Dimensioning and designing new bridge bearings, transporting the bridge and its assembly logistics were special challenges that the Implenia team mastered.