Felgendreher Olfs Köchling

Johann Jacobs House . Bremen

Felgendreher Olfs Köchling .  Johann Jacobs House . Bremen Philip Heckhausen afasia (1)

Felgendreher Olfs Köchling . photos: © Philip Heckhausen

The new Johann Jacobs House in the historic center of the city of Bremen in Northern Germany serves as the head office of the coffee company with offices on the upper floors and sales areas and a Café on the ground floors. It replaces the coffee company’s former head office and is part of the inner-city development in Bremen. Together with the historic weigh house from the Weserrenaissance in the second row, the new building creates an ensemble with a new little square for a Café.


The new house is integrated very naturally in Bremen’s urban structure. The particularity of the building within the city plan is that it has three sides. This characteristic was formative for the development of the building’s floor plan and volumetric figure. The floor plan is open and column-free. The core’s position at the fire break wall and its squeezed volume create space towards the three sides. The building’s volume steps back towards the upper part of the building, creating precise references to the different scales of its surrounding. The heights of the setbacks decrease towards the little square and its lower level. Parallel to the stairs of the alleyway, the stairs inside lead to the level of the Café and the ground floor of this side. Here, the windows span two floors, relating to the dimension of the portal of the weigh house. The restauration of the portal was also part of the project, which enables an entrance also from this side of the weigh house. The sandstone figures from the former head office were restored and added to the new facade.

The brick facade echoes the material of the neighboring historical buildings, the concrete structure enables the transformation of the traditional step gable into an unique and contemporary approach. Initially developed to work with the three-sidedness of the facade and its relation to the surrounding, the steps in the facade led to an innovative and specific solution for the building’s construction. Wall high concrete plates carry the building at the corners. The only expansion joint of the facing brick is located at each building corner where it visualizes the carrying structure.