DEG Headquarters

Project Location

Cologne, Germany,


sop architects



The Cloud within DEG Headquarters

In 2008, DEG—an international investment and development company—built its new headquarters in Cologne, Germany. The 7-story 30,000 square foot building received high acclaim due to its contemporary and sustainable construction. But, it is not what is seen from the exterior of the building that received the most accolades. Within the interior sits a centrally located atrium that fills the offices with an abundance of natural daylight. Sitting atop this atrium is a convertible glass roof which, on demand, exposes or covers the atrium to open air.

Need to Maximize Usable Space

In 2011, DEG determined a need to enlarge their offices into a campus and brought forth a competition to design an annex building adjacent to the 2008 headquarters. Furthermore, they had a goal to expand the useable square footage within the original building. Düsseldorf firm, sop (slapa oberholz pszczulny) architects created the winning design. This firm artfully designed an all glass façade modern building that bridges to the original sandstone and glass building. Now these adjoined buildings house some 500 employees.

In addition to the new annex building, sop architects designed a truly captivating solution to the need of expanding the flexible footprint of usable space in the original headquarters building. Architect Jochen Solbach and the sop team created a kinetic-like sculptural pavilion within the convertible glass roofed atrium. Playing with the sense of translucency, nature, light, and air, now sits a floating “Cloud”.

Creating a Room-within-a-Room on Demand

Completed in 2018, the newly redesigned open space serves as an open or closed event and break room for the employees of DEG. The convertible glass roof is opened on a regular basis in pleasant weather and transforms the atrium into an airy courtyard. Yet, in order to gain flexible sheltered space for the workforce, the architectural firm embraced a room-within-a-room concept to add the much needed year-round functional space. "Our idea was to extend the existing cafeteria with another room in the atrium, with a dividable conference room [built overhead] - all integrated into an object that looks like a sculpture in the surroundings," says architect Solbach.

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