Last week my friends Bob and Christian gave a new silhouette to cologne, by means of illuminating the television tower with a spectacular lighten moved dress.
Up to the 1980s the construction of a television tower was a matter of course for many German cities to underline their urban character. Cologne is no exception: The local Colonius was designed by Erwin Heinle and was finished in 1981. With a height of 266 meters it is not only the highest television tower in Nordrhine-Westfalia, but also a striking landmark that is visible from far. As such, it is an inherent part of Cologne’s skyline by day and night. Unfortunately its significance as a tourist destination has been lost since the closure of the observation platform several years ago.
The architects Christian Dieckmann and Robert Wetzels want to re-raise the awareness for the significance of the distinctive building for the cityscape of Cologne:
An exhibition in the elevated ground level documents the development of the television tower and gives extensive background information. Moreover the panorama view that would be visible from the observation platform (when open to the public) is replicated by means of printable film on the basement windows, and selected architecture and urban development projects are explicated in the “Schaufenster zur Stadt”. At “Liegen unterm Turm” at the bottom of the Colonius visitors can savour coffee and cake and enjoy the television tower from a distinct angle. But the most spectacular event is the artful illumination of the tower. By illuminating its column the Colonius is transformed into a giant sculpture that is thus promoted to a highlight of Cologne’s nightly skyline during plan08.
Dieckmann’s and Wetzels’s and vision is to establish a competition in the future: the Colonius Award. International artist and designers shall be asked yearly to hand in their proposal for an illumination of the Colonius. The illumination of the television tower during plan08 is made possible by Stadt Köln, Deutsche Funkturm GmbH and Deutsche Telekom AG.