Special connectedness between architecture and the city
ASTOC stands for a special connectedness between architecture and the city, for the generation of architecture from within overarching contexts and with consideration of a multiplicity of different scales. Our designs emerge from an understanding that conceptualizes and shapes buildings in terms of specific locations: from the whole to the site; from the site to the whole. Our objective is the advancement of the contemporary city and the continued evolution of valid architectonic typologies. Based on this understanding of architecture, we are engaged in the implementation of a broad spectrum of planning tasks, from regional and large-scale urban development all the way to interior architecture and furniture design. We are active on behalf of public and private clients, development firms and various types of associations. Projects are always developed in close consultation with clients and are carried out in interdisciplinary collaborations with city planners, technical experts and other advisors. Some of the projects whose implementation is documented here have been carried out in partnership with other offices. "ASTOC Architects & Planners" was founded in Cologne in 1990 by partners Peter Berner, Kees Christiaanse, Oliver Hall and Markus Neppl, and is currently staffed by 45 employees. On 1 January 2003, ASTOC began operating as a GmbH & Co. Limited Partnership. We engage in close collaboration with our Rotterdam sister office KCAP B.V., founded in 1989. As independent enterprises respectively, we implement joint architectural and urban development projects. Beginning in 2006, a branch office of KCAP has been in operation in Zurich. Our spectrum of competencies include the educational sphere; Markus Neppl and Oliver Hall occupy professorships at the University of Karlsruhe (TH) and the Fachhochschule (University Of Applied Sciences) Lippe und Höxter respectively, while other staffers also engage in teaching activities. ASTOC employs an integrated discourse lying between daily professional practice and academic perspectives.