Jo. Franzke Architekten Jo. Franzke Architekten

Project

Old Municipal Library

Frankfurt am Main, Germany

As regards this particular conversion, the current design also aims to focus on simplicity and thriftiness. 

Numerous subsequent conversion projects ruined the building, which in 1944, fell victim to bombing. 
This particular design represents an attempt to create an edifice akin to Johann Friedrich Christian Hess’s ideal while taking into account all the constraints presented by the site and fulfilling the existing spatial program. Since all that remains of Hess’ 1821 design is the main view facing Schöne Aussicht, the remaining facades are mere interpretation. The footprint was extended in depth by two fields, thereby making the 1:2 ratio of the sides more harmonious than in the original 1821 design.

As regards this particular conversion, the current design also aims to focus on simplicity and thriftiness. Furthermore, as the French architect and theorist and Hess mentor Jean Nicolas Durand had demanded, all form of decoration was rejected. In line with the tradition of classicism in which buildings and gardens were considered to be a single entity, with the interior being extended into nature, the area surrounding the building has been given as much attention as the building itself. 

However, the design concept for the outdoor grounds of the old municipal library has declined to give the gardens a contemporary interpretation. It borrows from an older garden concept, which has something essential in common with Hess’ design: The classicist element.

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