The detached house K18, abbreviated for Katzengasse 18, is located in the district of Cologne Niehl on the left bank of the Rhine, a former fishing village just a few kilometers from the center of Cologne. Katzengasse is a narrow street, without sidewalks, where a few small properties can be found. For his own family, Cologne architect Till Robin Kurz hand-built back an old house here that was dilapidated and too small for life with children.
The house fills the entire depth of the narrow lot in Katzengasse. The building is entered from the north via a paved courtyard. On the first floor of the house first opens the bright living area with adjoining kitchen. The living room and kitchen are separated by an internal buffer. This accommodates on the one hand a small bathroom and on the other hand a staircase to the other upper floors. On the mezzanine floor there is a bedroom and a home office compatible gallery. The attic offers enough space for a shower room and two small rooms. The detailing on all levels of the house appears particularly impressive, such as the seating and window sills, which invite you to linger, the integrated spiral staircase or the enormous ceiling height, which gives the living area additional size.
When building the K18, architect Till Robin Kurz placed great emphasis on making a contribution to climate protection. This was done, on the one hand, by reusing the old field bricks from the previous building. The bricks from the façade of the former 19th century fisherman's cottage were salvaged during demolition and stored. In the spirit of the circular economy, the collected field bricks were used for the facing shell of the new building. In this way, the Cologne architect has already been able to successfully demonstrate that the past can be transformed to make it fit for the future. To continue the idea of sustainability in the interior of the house, CLAYTEC's CLAYFIX clay paint was used for the wall design. The ecological paint is free of solvents, pigments and dyes, and is therefore of particularly high quality from a building biology point of view. The coloration is done exclusively with natural clays. In the K18 residential building, the color shade Kolumba Grey, which was originally created for the Kolumba Museum in Cologne and named after it, was used. A total color palette of 146 different earth tones, including two different aggregates (coarse grain and fine grain), is available. The Cologne architect also opted for a resource-saving option in the energy concept. The K18 house is geothermally heated with a brine-to-water heat pump. A fresh water station with buffer storage is used for hot water preparation. The system technology with a high proportion of renewable energy in combination with a very well insulated outer shell and triple-glazed windows enables an energy house with the KFW 55 standard that is eligible for subsidies.
The K18 residential building represents a resource-saving and sustainable single-family home. Due to the exact detailing and full precision, as can be seen on all levels, the house also invites you to discover and linger and offers numerous moments of wonder.
Architect's office: Till Robin Kurz
Client: Analena Schwarz
Photos: Robinson Tilly, Düsseldorf