1923 – 1924
Architect: Wilhelm Riphahn
Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 80, Cologne, Germany
The listed Bastei is a design by Wilhelm Riphahn from 1923 to 1924.
As early as 1921/1922, he developed the idea for a restaurant with a panoramic view that was a new concept for Cologne.
The client was Adolf Worringer, owner of the Zoo Restaurant, who founded the Kölner Gaststätten-Aktiengesellschaft to finance the project.
A fan-shaped panoramic restaurant with a view over the Rhine was built on the remains of a flat semicircular tower of the former Prussian fortifications.
The basalt walls inside the tower had to be blasted to a depth of one and a half meters to create utility rooms for the restaurant’s operation.
Riphahn took up the basic motif of a fan or star again both in the windows and in the glass and iron construction of the terrace roof.
The roof was finished off by a polygonal pyramid with a towering slate-covered peak.
At the level of the ground and mezzanine floors, a transverse rectangular structure was added on the street side.
The main floor above with the guest room takes up the contours of the substructure in enlarged form: semicircular on the Rhine side and rectangular on the street side.
The building, which is of lightweight steel construction, is supported by radially arranged girders that cantilever up to eight meters toward the banks of the Rhine.
The steel skeleton construction allowed for an almost fully glazed building with an open floor plan.
In 1927, Riphahn modified his design: the original outdoor terrace furnished with wicker chairs had to be abandoned due to wind conditions, and the glazed parapet was replaced by a floor-to-ceiling steel frame construction with polygonal glazing.
Destruction and Renovation
In 1943, the bastion suffered severe destruction. In 1958, Wilhelm Riphahn himself rebuilt it to its original 1927 condition in a slightly altered form.
The bastion was last renovated in 1985 at a cost of 1.5 million marks.
However, the building and the technology became increasingly outdated in the years that followed.
In 1997, the restaurant was closed and only usable for private events.
In 2019, preliminary investigations for the planned renovation began at the Cologne bastion.
The building management department of the city of Cologne took material samples from the iron girders and examined the condition of the building as a whole for an initial inventory.
The aim is to refurbish the property for a new use with a gastronomic offering.
The City of Cologne had sold the listed building to Koelnmesse in 2000 and, following a council resolution in December 2018, bought it back and commissioned the administration to prepare the necessary maintenance and refurbishment measures.