Philosophicum

Frankfurt am Main

Studio Apartments: 238
Floor Area: 12,130 m²
Work Phases: 1-5 
Completion: 2017

Project Team: Nina Bölinger, Ildikó Návay, Nora Vitale, Anna Reeg, Wiebke Nolte, Sandra Klepsch
Client: RMW Wohnungsgesellschaft Frankfurt II GmbH
Photos of Existing Buildings: Lutz Kleinhans / Ferdinand Kramer Archiv

The Philosophicum, built between 1958 and 1960 in the Functionalist style by Ferdinand Kramer to house the Faculty of Philosophy of Frankfurt´s Goethe University, has had a very chequered history and is today one of the city´s most hotly debated architectural monuments. Now a listed building, its nine-storey, almost 80-metre long reinforced-concrete shell with a depth of just 10.58 metres has been transformed into student accommodation after the university has moved to its new Westend Campus. A total of 238 one-roomed apartments for students, a children’s day nursery and a ground-floor café were built here in the existing structure and in an extension along Gräfstrasse. In continuing the line of development along the street and the eaves height of adjacent buildings, the five-storey annexe respects the perimeter block structure of its immediate environs and integrates the post-war tower block finally into the urban scene. After extensive improvements to energy-efficiency, carried out in line with listed building requirements, one of the most important and iconic monuments in post-war Modern architecture in Frankfurt could be preserved.

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