The first section of the Exhibition Building, designed by Joseph Maria Olbrich in 1908, was reopened to the public at the beginning of November in the form of the Café Restaurant Mathildenhöhe. “The architects schneider+schumacher from Frankfurt, who were commissioned to renovate the exhibition building, have succeeded in respectfully integrating a modern café-restaurant with high design standards into the listed building”, said Darmstadt’s Mayor Hanno Benz.
Before it was closed for refurbishment the café used to be located on the foyer’s gallery. However, its former location was deemed inappropriate in this historical context. So, in the course of the current renovation and in keeping with the listed status of the World Heritage Site, a different location had to be found. The café is now located in the valve chamber of the former drinking water reservoir. The reservoir dates back to 1879, making it the oldest building on the Mathildenhöhe, and its brick walls, valve wheels and water pipes have been preserved. The café now offers modern gastronomy in a historic setting – with a view over the plane tree grove and the Russian Chapel. It can accommodate around eighty guests inside, and from spring to autumn the external terraces are open.
schneider+schumacher’s renovation of the Exhibition Building in line with its listed status encompasses not only this new café, but also employs a new type of exterior insulating plaster, modern glass and a sustainable energy concept.
Café Restaurant Mathildenhöhe: https://www.caferestaurantmathildenhoehe.de/