News & Infos

The Ship, Köln

A fully digitised intelligent office building

Dr Oliver Steinki, builder of THE SHIP

<The dormakaba systems for barrier-free access and escape route security are a key contribution to the fully digitised office building.>

Building data

Address: Vitalisstraße 67, 50827 Köln
Completed: 2020
Building owner: FOND OF GmbH, Köln
Architects: Müller Architecture, Schneider-Sedlaczek
Technical building services & digitisation: Drees & Sommer
General contractor: Zechbau



The Ship is a forward-looking, fully digitised office property in Cologne-Ehrenfeld. With its high-end technology and unique atmosphere, The Ship stands for a new way of working. Viewed from the air, the new structure resembles a sailing ship, and the adjoining historic building “Alte Wagenfabrik” (old wagon factory) is reminiscent of a harbour. A green wall nearly 45 square metres in size is the visual centre of the brightly lit lobby area. Directly behind it are the spacious employee restaurant, a fitness studio and a day care centre. The upper six floors contain flexibly designed office space with premium furnishings, as well as a large conference area. The employees are free to choose how and where they would like to work, because the building has the right facilities for every conceivable work situation, such as different kinds of meeting rooms, creative labs, think tanks and phone capsules, but also lounge areas and garden offices. The future-oriented building digitisation also provides the greatest possible level of convenience for its users and ensures quicker operational processes within the building.

Customer requirements

  • Barrier-free design
  • Escape route security system

Our solutions

Built in accordance with the Gold Standard of the German Sustainable Building Council, The Ship is currently considered one of the most digitised office buildings in Germany. Its smart core is a self-learning BUS system. All aspects of building technology are connected: climate control, parking space assignment, access rights, lifts, room occupancy, internal navigation and communication. To make this happen, thousands of sensors and beacons were installed. The employees working in The Ship benefit from simple, convenient access to the building and all interior areas.

Building access is controlled via an app. All employees need is the building’s app on their smartphone, which subsequently serves as their key and navigator. The appropriate access authorisations are stored on the smartphone. When employees pull up to the entrance of the underground garage, the barrier opens automatically. All other doors on their way to their work station are already released and open automatically, provided they are motorised. To that end, about 150 stairwell, hallway and office doors are equipped with door closers and some with automatic drives by dormakaba. They ensure barrier-free access. For example, doors in stairwells, access doors to offices or the doors to the day care centre open automatically. These doors not only have automatic drives, but also self-locking motor locks, so that they satisfy technical insurance requirements at all times. By the doors from the underground garage to the building, as well as by some other emergency exit doors, there are escape door terminals that guarantee immediate door release in case of an emergency. Two entry doors have also been replaced with escape route sliding doors featuring the new ES 400 Proline operator with sensor casing.


Featured products in this project