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upward extension of a bunker, Frankfurt

The redesigning of Frankfurt’s east harbour, opened only in 1912, is considered one of the biggest challenges of the coming years in the field of city planning. The area around the large market hall is already being affected by structural change. However, the part of the east harbour lying behind that area seems like a different world. Here, in a no man’s land between heaps of gravel and dumps, piled-up recycling-products and containers that await their shipping, a bunker from the times of World War Two, temporarily masked as a house, stands at a dead straight, dusty street. Always in search of cheap space for artistic purpose, the idea to change this bunker into a cultural place and to define it as the motor for municipal transformation emerged. One reason for that was the leaking hip-roof, as a reparation of it would have been very expensive. However, a demolition was out of question because of the enormous costs. So the bunker turned somewhat into an elevated construction site. Like on a rock in the city, a carefully calculated wooden box will sit up there, harbouring artists’ studios and the Institute for New Media. Inside the heavy concrete core, rooms for musicians to exercise will be installed. A circumferential opening up seizes the lightweight wooden box while turning the communal zone inside out in a dialogue with the city. At the same time, the opening up serves as an escape route to the outside. Not only do wall slices across the facade regulate the incidence of sunlight, they also enliven the structure of the facade.

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