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A compromise in grey: New kiosk on Remigiusplatz in Bonn city center

A compromise in grey : New kiosk on Remigiusplatz in Bonn city center

The new kiosk on Remigiusplatz is finished and is attracting attention - but probably not the kind that those who were responsible for it had hoped for. What’s real is the enthusiasm for the restrooms.

Rectangular, practical, but also suitable? Workers were putting the finishing touches on the new kiosk on Remigiusplatz on Monday morning. The controversial structure will not only be used to sell newspapers and sweets. At the rear it also contains a new barrier-free restroom with a diaper changing table and a separate urinal. It costs 50 cents to use the WC. The urinal is free of charge and replaces the filthy underground facility.

The kiosk has been integrated into the new Beethoven walking tour: Information about the childhood and youth of the Bonn composer, about his baptismal church, which once stood here, and a map of where he lived are printed on the glass on two sides of the mouse-grey façade panels.

The initial cost of the structure was estimated at 325 000 euros in the municipal budget. According to Kristina Buchmiller from the press office, only one construction company had submitted an offer - for 520,000 euros. In negotiations, the city had finally been able to reduce the total cost to 360,000 euros. The Beethoven anniversary society has covered the costs of the information panels.

On Monday the somewhat futuristic building attracted many curious passers-by. "A kiosk is the last thing that was needed at this spot", said a younger passer-by, who prefers only to reveal his first name, Nils. An inner city restroom could have been built differently and cheaper, he believes.

Referring to Remigiusplatz, Edgar Finger, a musician from Bonn says, "But a Ferris wheel doesn't fit here at all.” He studied the pictures of Beethoven with interest. "I think it's good to draw attention to the importance of the square. You can't overestimate Beethoven's significance for Bonn," he said. Overall, the square has gained a lot. Only a Ferris wheel doesn't fit here at all. "Beethoven would have found clear words for this."

A middle-aged man from Bonn and his relatives from Hamburg were out and about in the city. The kiosk would be ok if it were for just one year, the three of them said. But as a permanent solution, they didn't think the austere design was so appropriate. " At least graffiti is easy to remove", the lady in the trio explained pragmatically. The design of the structure had been the subject of considerable controversy in the Bonn district council this summer.

Kiosk in the city center of Bonn: A vision in ...grey?

After the district council had insisted on its right of choice, the planning office proposed seven alternative colors, including yellow and red. The bright colors were rejected out of consideration for the neighboring architectural monuments. Finally, a large majority of eleven representatives of the SPD, the Greens, the Left, the Pirates and the Citizens' Association decided on the current light grey. CDU and FDP pleaded against it with seven votes for a light beige. A member of the district council did not like any of the proposed colors.

District Mayor Brigitta Poppe-Reiners (Greens) is pleased with the result. "We didn't want a black box for Bonn," she told the GA. The more discreet colors and the restrained design give the square its own character.

Deputy District Mayor Wolfgang Maiwaldt (CDU) personally inspected the sleek new building on Monday. "I would still have found beige more harmonious," he told the GA. But all in all, the new structure will bring a significant upgrading to the square.

Orig. text: Martin Wein

Translation: ck