Smart and creative strategies for dealing with existing buildings are the theme of the exhibition “Nothing New – Better Building with Existing Buildings”, which opened on 16 September in the interim quarters of DAM Ostend. Among the 24 international examples of outstanding renovations and conversions are two projects by schneider+schumacher: their judicious revitalisation of the Silvertower in Frankfurt, and a study on how the Frankfurt Juridicum building might be used in the future.
The university building with its concrete skeleton structural frame and generous floor heights is an ideal candidate for conversion and further use. The existing 17,500 square metres gross floor area offers plenty of space for living and working. According to Astrid Wuttke who summarised the study: “Depending on requirements, various floor plan typologies and arrangements are possible.” The study assumed a proportion of about two thirds for residential use, to one third for office space. This can also be apportioned differently as required. In addition, semi-public functions occupy the lower two floors (a nursery daycare centre, counselling offices, a neighbourhood office, administrative offices for a “Centre for the Arts” or similar uses).
The study is a further development of the competition entry for the “Kulturcampus Baufeld 12” from 2013. Back then, the Juridicum was due to be demolished by 2017 at the latest, and an ideas competition called for new buildings to be designed in its place. schneider+schumacher was the only office to propose converting the Juridicum and they received a recognition award for this work. Currently, the Juridicum is still standing and is being used by the University of Frankfurt as an office building until Spring 2023. Now this topic has become even more pressing than ever before.