Frankfurt on the Main focuses on energy-optimised building. In no other city, the topic of energy-efficient buildings is implemented as consistently as in the “Capital of Passive Houses”. With the “Wohnen am Dom” project, the city together with architect Prof. Christoph Mäckler has set an example of identity-generating gap site development in the city centre and explored the varied application possibilities of brick in multi-storey housing construction.
Multi-family House in Frankfurt on the Main, Germany
Aiming to revive Frankfurt’s inner city and facilitate social and family-friendly living, the municipal housing association ABG Frankfurt Holding focuses on moderate densification. A multi-family building with passive house standard has been constructed in a residential district located southeast of the cathedral and northwest of “Alte Brücke”. The building is part of a perimeter development, which is markedly characterised by 1950s architecture – with four- to five-storey buildings in the east, north and west, and a small-scale, partly historic housing development in the south. The project was implemented by the renowned office of Prof. Christoph Mäckler Architekten. With his design, the clay brick construction translates the appearance of historic buildings at the Römerberg, the heart of Frankfurt’s old town, into a modern design vocabulary.
The rectangular building is divided into two offset sections of almost identical size. Special features are the saddle roofs with different roof pitches as well as the narrow pointed gables. The clear ceiling height of 2.70 metres is another characteristic of the building, which comprises five full storeys and one attic floor. All apartments have south-facing terraces, balconies or loggias. Towards the southwest, the ground and first floor are extended by a cubic annexe, which adjoins a one-storey extension with a flat roof.
The exterior walls are designed as an energy-efficient wall construction using 49-centimetre thick Poroton clay blocks with mineral wool infill; non-bearing interior walls are also built of clay blocks. The architectural independence of both building halves is further emphasised by different plaster surfaces and colours: white fair-faced plaster on the one side, and a red combed plaster finish on the other. The play of light and shadow on the red plaster surface, which is the costlier and more elaborate variant, gives the façade a three-dimensional vividness.
The building and water are heated with district heating. All apartments are equipped with a controlled ventilation system allowing fresh air supply with heat recovery. The innovative lift installation also includes a heat recovery system, which is used for pre-heating the drinking water.
The aesthetic of a building is based on the technical and design quality of the used building materials.