Renovation and modernisation of the film museum incl. new overall area and circulation concept — Schaumainkai 41, 60596 Frankfurt a.M., Germany — 5,050 m² — 08/2011 — Deutsches Filminstitut (DIF e.V.)

More Room for the Film

The historic external envelope of the Wilhelminian-style villa, home of the film museum in Frankfurt, was not only seen as a limiting frame for a new inner life by the architects; it should also come up itself during the rebuild in undisguised form. With the refurbishment, the building has found its way back to former glory. At the same time the museum offers the public significantly extended programming areas and furthermore, conveys a totally new room experience after its renovation.

To give the building a new face inside, one of the most important planning tasks during the refurbishment was to enable and make use of hidden potentials in this rebuild. The users of the building, visitors and employees alike, do now experience architecture as series of rooms which first and foremost communicates by optically comprehensible parameters, so dimensioning, visual connections and surface qualities. However, the structural logic that the architects created can be understood as a creative performance which first and foremost serves functionality. It results after the renovation from the user’s perspective with natural casualness. For such an ideal result, the organisation of the layout is also in times of virtual model simulation of decisive importance for the architectural design.

Room for Development

Partially new ceiling constructions of the renovation allow spacious interior solutions in the principal floors – a requirement for innovative exhibition and mediation concepts of the museum that the architects created. The extensive foyer of the rebuild with the planned media library, shop and café welcomes the visitor. He will find exhibition rooms spread over three floors. In addition, the refurbishment integrates museum-educational offers on the fourth floor and administration rooms on the fifth floor.

The contemporary development facilitates orientation. In the principal floors, there are foyers in front of the exhibition rooms that, with their free view over the Main river, develop a relaxed charm of a lounge as it is rare to find in a museum. The building ground plan seems here like a monumental camera, pointed at the Frankfurt skyline. Also, the in-house cinema in the basement presents itself completely redesigned. All in shades of red, the room evokes not only tradition of this most important place of film reception but also guarantees highest film enjoyment thanks to its innovative technical equipment. Viewed as a whole, more room for the film also means: new room for development for the museum.

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