Catering facilities from Whitsun 2010 onwards

Following a generous donation, the "Lebenshilfe Ortsvereinigung Solingen e. V." has been able to purchase the building next to the bistro, which used to house the "Exit" discotheque. Here it will be creating a new, modern building containing a cafe and a restaurant.

More than one hundred architect’s offices submitted designs for the building in an open competition. The three major urban centres in the "Bergisch Land", Remscheid, Solingen and Wuppertal intend to replace the bistro with a visitor information centre on the side of the hill and a house by the water for exhibitions and events. The architecture competition included both buildings in order to ensure that they harmonise.

The new catering building will have an area of around 1000 square metres and a large outside terrace. It will be divided into a cafe, a bistro and a restaurant in order to cater for different tastes and pockets. In addition it is planned to offer a large room on the first floor for events and parties, seminars and small-scale conferences.

The winning design, chosen by a joint jury from all three towns and "Lebenshilfe", was submitted by the architect, Tore Pape, from the "Pool 2 Architekten" office in Kassel. The motto of the Viaduct Park, "Nature meets Technology" is carried forward in Tore Pape’s design. The outside of the building will be clad in corrosion-resistant weathering steel, a material that not only reflects the viaduct itself but the long history of metal technology in the region. And the huge panes of glass will enable visitors to feel directly connected with the natural surroundings outside.

You can download the results of the architecture competition in the form of photos and PDF data here. Download the winning design

The building is scheduled to open at Whitsun 2010 to coincide with the annual "Brückenzauber" (lit: Viaduct Magic) festivities. It can then be viewed and, of course, tested by anyone wishing to do so.

The new building will provide much-needed catering facilities for visitors to the park throughout the whole year.

Like the current bistro, the new restaurant facilities will be run by Integra Solingen, a non-profit making, integration business company offering jobs in all areas of catering to people who would not normally find employment on the labour market because of their physical, psychological or mental handicaps. The company is well aware that it will come under particular public scrutiny because it employs people with handicaps, and that it will only be able to allay public reservations by offering top quality food and service. It is a considerable challenge to run such a business in such an exceptional building at a highly popular tourist site in Germany.