Jo. Franzke Architekten Jo. Franzke Architekten

Project

Communi- cation buildings

Frankfurt Airport, Germany

The architectural response to this was a 200m long and 22.5m wide block.

In terms of urban planning, the real estate available left almost no site-specific leeway for the architects. Two data processing centers in the west, a multi-purpose building in the south, staff restaurant, the main administration building in the east, completed in 1988, not to mention a maximum height limit of 35 meters that applies to the entire airport area largely determined both the location and dimensions of the new building. A transformer station that was located on the property and could not be moved made the situation all the more difficult. The architectural response to this was a 200m long and 22.5m wide block running north-south which spans the transformer station over a length of 35 meters by means of a bridge. 

In terms of both location and usage the communication building functions as a link between the two terminals. The communications building was intended to house a wide variety of functions - from security areas and machine rooms to offices and workshops. The planning concept envisaged countering this difficult mix of functions with a clearly structured, uniform architectural object, while at the same time creating an ordering element within the divergent surrounding architecture. 

The long, narrow 7-story building is itself divided into individual sections which are separated from one another by vertical access panels. These so-called infrastructure slots, each of which includes a stairway, elevators and sanitary facilities for all the building units as well as all vertical technical installation pipes for the building are covered in red sandstone from the River Main. 

A technical level on the 6th floor houses the technical supply leads that extend over the entire length of the building and acts as a connecting element between the various sections of the building. This is also covered in sandstone and emphasizes the linearity of the whole building. Yet another technical level along the entire length of the building and set 2.5 meters behind the attic of the main building forms the outer edge.

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