Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat: Cities in the Third Millennium

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Greening Office Towers

Christoph Ingenhoven


The Ingenhoven Overdiek und Partner Office in Düsseldorf has been under the leadership of Christoph Ingenhoven and Jürgen Overdiek since it was founded in 1992 as a shared architectural practice.

Christoph Ingenhoven, born 1960. Studied architecture at the RWTH in Aachen and at the Academy of Arts in Düsseldorf. Jürgen Overdiek, born 1954. Studied architecture at the RWTH Aachen and Villa Massimo Stipendium Rome. Today, there are 150 staff working in the office (architects, interior architects, designers and model makers).

The projects are mainly offices and administration buildings, commercial and insurance company headquarters, high rise buildings in Germany and abroad, department stores and infrastructure projects (airports, railway stations), town planning and landscape architecture works.

The aim in all the projects is to work closely with engineers and other specialists throughout the whole of the design process. Internal questionnaires are used to measure the efficiency, the ecological consciousness, the economy of resource usage and the buildability of every project. This creates an architecture that is characterised by technological innovation and produces buildings appropriate to people's working and leisure needs. It does not spring from artistic requirements alone but is rather a reflection of the architect's responsibility for the environment.


The construction of the 163 metre high cylindrical high-rise tower which houses the RWE AG represents the completion of the first stage of the competition decided upon in 1991 for the headquarters of the RWE AG/RAG. The ecologically oriented building will be completed at the end of 1996.

The RWE tower is free-standing, built behind the curved slab block. Areas of higher density keep the interior of the site free for a generously proportioned park. Access to the high-rise is through a public plaza extending outwards. The newly created streetscape is interrupted at this point and bridged over by a roof-level loggia with photo-voltaic lamellae. The 30 floors of the building, including a roof garden, are accessible from the lobby through lifts located outside the tower itself.


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