1. GA-English

Move to the UN Campus in Bonn: Haus Carstanjen faces vacancy in 2022

Move to the UN Campus in Bonn : Haus Carstanjen faces vacancy in 2022

While the UN campus in Bonn is filling up more and more, this will cause vacancies in Plittersdorf's Haus Carstanjen from 2022. This is because the UN departments are leaving the complex. As the owner, the federal government wants to make the buildings attractive for a new use.

The future use of the federally-owned Haus Carstanjen property on the banks of the Rhine in Plittersdorf is uncertain. As reported, other United Nations agencies located in the building complex, to which the federal government has made the buildings available for use since 1996, will move to the UN campus next year. The United Nations Training Academy (UNSSC) and the Secretariat of the Framework Convention on Climate Change will be leaving Plittersdorf, explains Thorsten Grützner of the Federal Real Estate Agency (Bima), which manages the property.

In general, sustainability and climate protection facilities will then be concentrated in the new "Kleiner Eugen" extension building on the UN campus on Stresemannufer. Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze had recently presented the house, as reported.

Federal uses or international settlements are in the discussion

Regarding the Plittersdorf property, which is named after its former owner, the sugar manufacturer, art collector and patron Adolf von Carstanjen, the Bima spokesman announced: "After the move, the property will initially be empty in large parts." Considerations are therefore currently being made as to how the building complex can be further developed and, in particular, adapted to modern energy standards. The goal is to make Haus Carstanjen "attractive for federal use or other international settlements," says Grützner.

The estate, which once grew out of a medieval Abteigut called Auerhof, comprises 25,000 square metres of parkland in a landscape conservation area and a 15,000-square-metre building complex consisting of three office buildings, a canteen building and the original villa. Separately, the Carstanjens' mausoleum is also located on the estate, and its crypt now holds urns of 700 deceased people. The resting place is administered by the Rhine Quarter Civic Foundation of the Catholic parish of St. Andrew and Evergislus.

The building has a rich cultural history

At Haus Carstanjen, the North Rhine-Westphalia Chamber of Architects and the North Rhine-Westphalia Chamber of Engineers praise in their Internet guide "Baukunst NRW" the L-shaped building's villa complex with round tower, hall and kitchen annex, which is divided by cross-storey windows. The property in picture-book location is thus a real eye-catcher. It also has a rich cultural history, especially in the 19th century. The owners of the time, the Schaafhausen banking family, who also had the magnificent park laid out, had an illustrious group of guests come and go. The writers Annette von Droste-Hülshoff and Adele Schopenhauer were among them.

At the end of the 19th century, the owner at the time, the Cologne art collector Adolf von Carstanjen, had the former Auerhof converted to neo-Gothic style: the family enjoyed spending the summer here against the magnificent backdrop of the Rhine. A descendant then sold the property in 1940 to the state, which set up an army teachers' academy. The house was confiscated by the Americans at the end of the war in 1945.

The "political career" of the house began in 1950

With the appointment of Bonn as the federal capital, Haus Carstanjen then began a political career, so to speak: in 1950, the Federal Ministry for Marshall Plan Affairs moved in. After that, the Federal Ministry of the Interior moved into the building, which received an extension in 1967 under the artistic advice of the capital's architect Sep Ruf. From 1996 on, institutions of the United Nations moved in. Among others, the Secretariat of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) was on site for many years with 200 employees. Today, it is located on the UN campus on United Nations Square in Bonn.

The Bundesanstalt für Immobilienaufgaben, which now manages the property, has spent a total of 7.8 million Euros on various measures at Haus Carstanjen since 2006, its spokesman Grützner calculates. "The most significant cost volumes are the comprehensive fire protection renovations at around 2.6 million Euros and the security installations at around two million Euros," says Grützner. By this he means the installation of a fence, barriers and bollards.

Sewer work coming soon

The continuously carried out building maintenance measures would have cost almost two million Euros so far. "These include facade painting, roof renovations, window repairs, maintenance of the listed castle and installation of the flood protection wall." Sewer work on the house is coming up soon, as Sabine Hoffmann, Bima's property manager for the house and park, recently told GA.

Even if the future use of the building is still unclear, walkers will continue to enjoy using the park on Martin-Luther-King-Strasse. After all, it continues to invite people to linger on the banks of the Rhine in Godesberg, next to the Panorama Park at the Bastei and the Drachenstein Park in Mehlem.

(Original text: Ebba Hagenberg-Miliu; Translation: Mareike Graepel)