Built by the English engineer John Moore in the years 1868 to 1872 with a diameter of 34 and a height of 35.5 metres, the water tower is the largest of its kind in Europe. The structure of the 1.25 m thick masonry is very impressive and was included as an essential design feature in the new hotel design.
Before 1900 the population of the city of Cologne rose so high that the water supply could only be ensured through the creation of an underground piping system. This meant that the water tower very quickly lost its original function and was used as a workshop and storage space.
After the partial destruction during the Second World War only a height of 27 metres remained. Task of the new planning was to obtain the monumental, tectonically strict form of the tower with its economical wall structure and not limit its original effect – all in accordance with the requirements of the city’s conservator.
Depending on the window openings, the former blind arches, the tower was divided into twelve levels, two of which have no natural daylight. In order to reconstruct the previously destroyed upper levels the bricks for the masonry were baked in identical colour, texture and dimensions.
The planning was based on the architectural history requirements. Due to this unique situation the Hotel im Wasserturm has a special place in Cologne’s and the European hotel industry.