Dubbed “KoolKiel”, the proposal is located in a formerly industrial area in Kiel, near the southernmost tip of the Kiel Fjord. Currently it is occupied by a large, single-storey building, which was originally used for storing chains for ships; however, in more recent times this location has become more notable for its connection to Germany’s famous Werner comics, which were printed in the building from the early 1980s. The building is now known as W8 Medienzentrum, and is home to a variety of companies working mostly (but not exclusively) in media and the creative industries. This collection of tenants has given the area a unique and charismatic identity, which strongly influenced MVRDV’s subsequent design.
The proposal calls to retain the existing structure of the W8 Medienzentrum as commercial units, topping it with apartments. Next to this, a new building is proposed with a zig-zagging plinth containing offices and shops, topped by several cubic blocks of housing, and a small tower of office spaces. At the end of the site, a 250-room hotel tower connects to the aforementioned plinth through a public event space, which will be used to host exhibitions and events organised by the community.