【DE】Koelnmesse lays foundation stone for Confex and presents new Hall 1

Setting the course for the future of the trade fair and congress site

Important milestones reached in the Koelnmesse 3.0 investment programme

Together with numerous guests from the worlds of business, politics and the media, Koelnmesse celebrated an event of symbolic importance on 24 August 2021: The laying of the foundation stone for the new Confex® trade fair, congress and event location and the inauguration of the new Hall 1 represent the future of Koelnmesse as well as the trade fair and congress location, in which Koelnmesse, in the words of CEO Gerald Böse, wants to “prove itself as an event location and emerge even stronger from the turmoil of the past months”. ” With the Confex® we are setting a foundation stone for Cologne as a congress location in a completely new dimension”, said Cologne’s mayor, Henriette Reker.

“The laying of the foundation stone for Confex® and completion of the new Hall 1 are both really good news for Cologne as a business location and fill me with optimism,” said Reker. “With its structural and technical qualities, the Confex® will be a blueprint for trade fair formats in the post-COVID era and provide us with a crucial tool to position ourselves in the future trade fair world,” Böse added.

Confex®: actively shaping the future of events – modern, digital and hybrid
The Confex® particularly stands for meeting the changing requirements of the trade fair business. With its various-sized conference rooms for flexible use and in combination with the recently completed Hall 1, Confex® allows for a mixture of trade fair, congress and event and thus provides space for new trade fair formats. It will meet the special requirements of future events in terms of flexibility, digital potential, efficiency and emotionality, while enabling hybrid trade fairs with digital content. At the same time, realisation of the Confex® will provide Cologne with congress capacity for approximately 5,500 people for the first time, and thus permit acquisition of new events for the location. It also brings massive locational benefits to Cologne and the region, thanks to the sustainable safeguarding of trade fair operations and new events held with new target groups outside of the main trade fair schedule.

Hall 1: space for flexible usage optimally integrated into the grounds
The attractiveness of the location is also heralded by the newly built Hall 1, which was completed on schedule despite the corona pandemic. Once again, said Böse, “an outstanding feat by the entire Koelnmesse construction team and the involved trades”. Thus far Hall 1 has been used for a few occasions such as the ‘Spielesause’ streaming event for gamescom (25 – 27 August 2021), but will be opened in classic trade fair mode for the first time at Anuga (from 9 to 13 October 2021). The new building is impressive, among other things, due to its sheer size. At 25 metres high and 180 metres long, Hall 1 offers 10,000 m² of exhibition space and thus additional possibilities for trade fairs, exhibitions and special shows in the years to come. It can also be divided variably and connected with other exhibition halls.

Sustainability is key to Koelnmesse 3.0
The new Confex® and Hall 1 construction measures are part of the Koelnmesse 3.0 investment programme, which also includes renovation of the existing south halls and improvements to the traffic and parking situation. Sustainability is an integral part of the construction and refurbishment projects. The Confex® was planned in such a way that it has already received preliminary certification by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) in its top category “platinum”. The entire available roof area will be equipped with a photovoltaic system. After refurbishment, the existing halls will offer state-of-the-art building technology. A flexible lighting system, energy-saving ventilation of the halls and new cooling technology will result in a high level of energy efficiency. Energy recovery and energy savings provide particular relief to the environment. Visitors will immediately notice the improvements that have been made in air quality and lighting.

In total, the company is investing over 700 million euros in the new buildings and infrastructure. At the same time, Koelnmesse is maintaining a prudent approach. In light of the financial losses caused by the corona pandemic, the company has decided to extend its investment programme time line to 2034. The individual measures will be reprioritised as deemed necessary.

The new Hall 1 at a glance
* Principal: Koelnmesse GmbH
* Architect: JSWD Architekten, Cologne
* Exhibition space: approximately 10,000 m²
* Logistics area and parking area under the elevated hall
* Direct access to Halls 4, 5 and 6, from 2024 to Confex®
* Start of construction: 28 November 2018
* Completion: End of 2020, first fair open to the public:
Anuga (from 9 to 13 October 2021)

The Confex® at a glance
* Principal: Koelnmesse GmbH
* Architect: JSWD Architekten, Cologne
* Trade fair, convention and event location at the same time
* Conference capacity up to 5,500 participants
* Confexhall as the largest room for approx. 4,000 people
* 12 conference and 3 ancillary meeting rooms
* Preliminary platinum certification by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB), photovoltaics on the roof surfaces
* Laying of the foundation stone: 24 August 2021
* Estimated completion: Mid 2024, operation starting in autumn 2024

About Koelnmesse:
Koelnmesse employs around 1000 people. As a city trade fair in the heart of Europe, it occupies the third largest trade fair grounds in Germany and, with almost 400,000 m² of hall and outdoor space, is among the top ten largest trade fair grounds in the world. Each year, Koelnmesse organises and manages around 80 trade fairs, guest events and special events in Cologne and in the most important markets all over the world. Its portfolio reaches over 54,000 exhibiting companies from 122 countries and around three million visitors from more than 200 nations. Until 2034, Koelnmesse is investing more than 700 million euro in the development of the trade fair grounds into the most extensive investment programme in its history, to allow it to cover all event formats in the future.

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