Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP

Frankfurt Messe Forum

Frankfurt, Germany

1999

The design concept for ‘Neue Forum’ yeilds a building with clear functional structure and flexibile use to respond optimally to a variety of requirements. The design and environmentally friendly concept reflects the modern, future-oriented philosophy of the ‘Messe Frankfurt.’ The ‘Forum’ consists of a bounteous two-story central element for large events flanked by two four-story service and administration elements. In addition the build has a one-story level below ground and contains 27,700 square meters of cross-area.

The new building is located to the west of ‘Festhalle’ (classified as historical monument) between Congress Center CMF and Dependence with a property of about 7,500 square meters. It is directly connected with ‘Festhalle’ and will accomodate access to ‘Agora’ through the terrace. The ‘Forum’ forms an important intersection for the pedestrian circulation system of the ‘Messe’ (called Via Mobile) and links it directly to the Congress Center, Hall 3, and the entrance from the city. Offices, media center, and kitchen are all accessed separately.

The building responds to the significant symmetry of the ‘Festhalle’ and ‘Agora’ with its geometrical axial floor plan design. The buildings main volume is centrally located with a height of 20.40 meter and additionally characterized by the banqueting auditory and flanked in the north, south and east by 18.60 meter high volumes.

A 6.30-meter wide loggia cantilevers from the buildings main volume at the upper level in direction of the Agora. The loggia forms a multi-layered front facade consisting of a 14.40-meter high and 90-meter wide floating shield.

The shield is structured as a glassed plane with brise-soleil sytem framed by metal panels. The terrace at the main level describes a flowing transition between ‘Forum’ and ‘Agora.’ The glassed elevator-system located in front of the main façade functions as the vertical component in contrast to the horizontal orientation of the main façade. Conceptually the elevator-towers expressive free-running shape reinforces the linear design of the entire building.

Skylights organize the building main volume flat-roof, clarifying the transitions to the main volume and bringing natural light into the offices and the entrance hall. The small volume roofs are arranged differently by solar panels or by plant surfaces.

The clear designed structure of the ‘Forum’ provides the controlled organization for frequent events and exhibitions as well as for catering and construction services. A 4.50-meter wide skylight is attached over the entire length of the ‘Forum.’ The skylight provides natural light until level 0 through accessible transparent skins right below the skylight. The following 36-meter wide main zone is characterized by media center, banqueting auditory, multifunctional area and kitchen.

Credits