Cologne Bonn Airport Bahnhof / Cologne, Germany/ 2000‑2003
Size: 742,700 sq ft / 69,000 sq m
Status: Completed 2003
Recognition: AIA Chicago Chapter Award; Deutscher Stahlbau Award
The existing Cologne Bonn Airport was a landmark in the landscape to approaching passengers. However, as passenger volume, aircraft circulation, and security demands shifted, a significant reconfiguration of Cologne’s transportation network became necessary. Jahn’s expansion of the Cologne Bonn Airport created a major intermodal transportation hub that includes a new passenger terminal, high-speed rail station, parking structures, bus station, road reconfigurations, and an expanded existing terminal.
Located below ground in the heart of the airport complex, the new 400-meter-long high-speed train station spans the width of the central passenger zone. The station connects directly to the new Terminal 2 at its north end and links to the expanded Terminal 1 to the south. The high-speed ICE trains of the Deutsche Bahn, along with local and regional trains, efficiently shuttle passengers to their destinations.
The station’s siting at the center of the existing airport required a carefully phased construction sequence and reconfiguration of the airport’s access roads. This new layout provided the opportunity to open the train tunnel to the sky with a 150-meter glass roof. The lightweight arc of glazing floods the platforms with natural light, creating a dramatic decompression of space as the trains arrive.
The lightness and transparency of the roof dematerialize the boundary between the interior and exterior and provide orienting views of the airport complex above. The careful integration of the train hall into the airport landscape creates an optimal linkage of rail, air, and vehicular transport with architectural clarity.