Architect Jens-Uwe Lau: Back to the Future

How PREFA siding.X made the new construction of a high-rise building in Erftstadt from the 70s look modern and timeless – not just now, but in the future as well.

After working as a construction manager for several years, graduate engineer Jens-Uwe Lau opened his architectural office in Bonn 10 years ago. The team of ten is able to realise several projects every year, from the design stage to handing it over to private investors and developers. His customers appreciate not only his creative and user-oriented designs, but also his precise preliminary calculation, his fair treatment of the companies involved and his sense for sustainability. And the fact that he is virtually always able to meet the construction time limit, the costs and the high quality standards has to do with his many years of experience, the intense communication with all parties involved and the professional controlling on the part of the respective project managers.

A portrait of architect Jens-Uwe Lau and project manager Kristin Prelec, standing in front of a bookcase

[Translate to english:] Dieser Ruf eilte dem Duo auch im Falle des Hochhauses in Erftstadt voraus und führte schließlich zur Beauftragung zum Entwurf, Planung und der Bauleitung des Neubaus von zwei fast 60 Meter hohen Fassaden, die das Gebäude in Zukunft beschützen sollen.

The office’s reputation also preceded it in the case of the high-rise building in Erftstadt. For these reasons, it was eventually commissioned with the design, the planning and the construction management of the new construction of two façades that are nearly 60 metres high and will protect the building in the future.

The focus is on the Erftstadt high-rise building, which was renovated with the help of PREFA.

In the right place at the right time

When looking for a sustainable and light alternative solution, it did not take the architect long before he came across the proven PREFA façade systems. And he found a congenial partner in the object consultant Carsten Friedt, who already delivers constructive possible solutions in the planning phase and also serves as a link to the Schröder Bedachungstechnik GmbH from Cologne that was commissioned with the construction.

Project Manager Kristina Prelec remembers: “It was a very complex task. It wasn’t possible to convince the community of owners to choose a solution made of aluminium with a simple sampling. In a case like this, it was a great advantage that PREFA has its own photo service and could provide possible façade and colour variants with photomontages to help the clients in their decision-making process.”

Many solutions instead of many compromises

It was eventually decided to use PREFA siding.X with the construction widths of 400 mm, 300 mm and 200 mm in the colour P.10 light grey. The clear installation scheme designed by the architect and the unique, striking longitudinal and transverse edges of the sidings contribute to the modern and timeless appearance of the two 900 m² and 59 metre high gable sides and therefore of the entire building from the 70s. This is topped off by an investment security due to a 40-year colour and material guarantee.

PREFA façade sidings on the Erfstadt high-rise building with a beautiful contrast to the blue sky in the background of the picture.

Together with Heribert Paul of the laying company, the expert for statics DI Jörg Friedrich of the engineering office Tragwerk and Carsten Friedt, the architect was able to clarify the feasibility and many other details. “Other laws apply for building heights like these. The wind suction, wind pressure and torsions of the building structure, fire and lightning protection as well as connections to the various different window types were very challenging. Due to the close collaboration between all trades, intelligent custom solutions and the perfect construction management by Dr. André Glaubitt of the engineering office Dipl.-Ing. Franz-Josef Bilo and Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Middel, the new construction of the façades could be completed on time without any significant problems.”

Both Jens-Uwe Lau and Carsten Friedt see great potential regarding sustainable high-rise renovations across borders and hope that this example will set a precedent.

Other laws apply for building heights like these.

Jens-Uwe Lau

Skyscraper Erftstadt - details



Building, location:

skyscraper, Erftstadt




Lau Architektur


Schröder Bedachungstechnik GmbH


PREFA Siding.X


P.10 light grey

Further information

  • Text: Carl Bender
  • Photos: Kristina Prelec, Jens-Uwe Lau, Martin Croce, Schröder Bedachungstechnik, Carsten Friedt