Clouth 104 in Cologne, DE

Contemporary lofts with industrial charm


Arbon, September 2022. Clouth 104 is an urban development located on the site of an old rubber factory in the Nippes district of Cologne, which was once home to Clouth Gummiwerke AG. The blueprints from the local architecture office Lepel & Lepel included the careful renovation of the listed factory and the addition of new buildings that blend in aesthetically with the existing building stock. Covering almost 19,000 square metres, the building ensemble now offers a range of attractive uses, from offices and artists’ studios through to a concept hotel and restaurants. As they meet the highest functional and design standards, the planners chose the unico and unico XS system solutions from Forster for the steel profiles on the windows and doors set in the historic facade.


To the video Clouth 104 


German industrial history was written at Clouth Gummiwerke AG. The site was the focal point of everyday life in the district of Nippes in Cologne until it was bombed during the Second World War. After it was rebuilt, production was gradually moved elsewhere until the factory was finally closed down in 2005. Shortly afterwards, the city of Cologne purchased the 14.5-hectare site and held a competition for redeveloping the area. In the resulting development plan, the goal was to create a diverse urban quarter with around 1,200 apartments, space for 500 jobs and a lot of scope for creative professions. To do this, the idea was to use the existing structures as the basis for development and integrate the listed areas into the new plan.


The Clouth 104 project that adjoins the new city quarter plays an important role in the overall look of the area. The architects from Lepel & Lepel drew up plans featuring three and four-storey new buildings constructed behind and above the listed brick facade. The multifunctional building has been designed with a focus on flexibility, communication and sustainability. The spaces inside have been largely left open, leaving the users free to design and change the interior as they wish.


Sustainable profile systems with a link to the past

In order to maintain the industrial charm of the listed facade, the architects attempted to keep as close to the original look as possible when modernising the windows and doors. As a result, the steel profiles had to meet some challenging demands. They not only had to blend in perfectly in terms of their proportions, colour and overall appearance, but also had to meet the latest requirements in terms of sound insulation and fire and burglary protection. Energy aspects also played an important role here.


For the window profiles, the planners from Lepel & Lepel chose the forster unico XS system from Forster with its exceptionally slim profile cross-sections. One of the special features of this system is the unique stainless steel framework insulators, which are used to connect the two profile half-shells. These eliminate the need for plastics in the window and optimise the insulation properties, not least because stainless steel has a lower heat transmittance than regular steel. The high levels of energy efficiency not only pay off in cold weather, but also on warm days thanks to the effective heat protection. The forster unico system was used for the doors and features slightly wider profiles for holding the locking system in place. Both Forster system solutions are made entirely from recycled steel and can also be completely recycled after use.


The environmentally friendly construction has been recognised by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB), which awarded Clouth 104 its highest Platinum certification.

Cologne, Germany

windows/glazing (forster unico and forster unico XS)

Architecture: Lepel & Lepel, Architekten Innenarchitekten

Metal fabrication: Siegfried Wölz Stahl- und Metallbau GmbH & Co. KG

Client: Clouth 104 Grundstücksgesellschaft mbH

Photography: Jens Kirchner Architekturfotografie