Goethe University

The transformation of a German icon

Dissing+Weitling, Goethe University, library

The architecturally important and listed Poelzig Ensemble was transformed into a university. Dissing+Weitling undertook the architectural task to combine the new functions with the original architectural qualities.

  • Frankfurt am Main, Germany
    Transformations
    1996 - 2001
  • Client
    Staatsbauamt Frankfurt am Main in the Federal State of Hessen
    Collaborators
    Lahmeyer International/Baureal Planungsring Ressel / Grebner / Statzner / Dörflinger + Partner / Sven-Ingvar Andersson/Klahn+Singer+Partner
    Size
    70,000 m²
    Award
    iF-Award, Industrie Forum Design Hannover, Luminaire Series, 2000
  • After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the architecturally important and listed Poelzig Ensemble, designed by the Berlin architect Hans Poelzig, was transferred to the German State and transformed into the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University. Dissing+Weitling undertook the architectural task to combine the new functions with the original architectural qualities.

    The iconic building complex has been preserved and its architectural values have been emphasised. We have integrated the building into the historical context to ensure a fluid change from new to old and to create optimal space for learning.

  • Dissing+Weitling, Goethe University, stairs

    The lighting underlines the character of the rooms

    The conversion facilitates the new educational functions and the original architectural qualities have been preserved and emphasised. The lighting design has a prominent position in this connection. Hans Poelzig originally designed individual lighting for each part of the building complex, and the recent refurbishment of the lighting underlines the character of the rooms. Most of the fittings are new developments of the original fittings and were designed by Dissing+Weitling.

  • The original building

    The Poelzig Ensemble was inaugurated in 1930 and served as an administration building for I.G. Farben until the end of World War II. From 1945 until 1955, the building was the headquarters for the US army.

  • Dissing+Weitling, Goethe University, exterior