Hellerhöfe Quarter in Frankfurt Gallus being built

New “Hellerhöfe” Quarter being built in Frankfurt’s Gallus District

In Frankfurt’s Gallus district, a new mixed-use neighborhood will be built by 2027 on the historic site of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. To this end, all the premises of the F.A.Z. (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung) and the Frankfurter Societät between Mainzer Landstraße and Frankenallee will be demolished from 2023. Last fall, a competition was held together with the city of Frankfurt for the realization of the Hellerhöfe, which produced a total of 15 competition entries. In the end, the concept of the Frankfurt architectural firm Schmidtploecker Architekten with the Berlin landscape planners Lavaland and Treibholz prevailed.

The mixed-use urban quarter is to have a total gross floor area of 82,000 square meters, of which 61,500 square meters are planned for residential use, 17,000 square meters for offices and 3,500 square meters for retail and restaurant uses. Of the apartments, 30 percent are to be publicly subsidized, half of which will be social housing and half subsidized. Commercial, retail and office space is planned on the first floor facing south towards Mainzer Landstrasse, while the residential quarter with two daycare centers is adjacent to the north. An elementary school is also to be built on the neighboring property. Between the eight-story residential blocks, there will be green, communal courtyards. To the north of Frankenallee, green front gardens are planned, which residents can appropriate or plant for their own use. Between the building formations, there will be a pedestrian connection between the two inner courtyards in an east-west direction, but at the same time access will also be possible via the public streets.

Hellerhöfe Quarter being built in Frankfurts Gallus district
© Visualisierung: PE Hellerhöfe// Schmidtploecker

Towards the south, facing Mainzer Landstraße, a 50 meter high-rise is being built, which is planned as a timber hybrid building. The wooden materials are to be used preferably in conjunction with green facades facing the inner courtyards, thus promoting a garden-like feeling in the middle of the big city. In order to build in a way that conserves resources, materials that are optimized in terms of their CO2 footprint will be used specifically. In addition, the neighborhood is to resemble a kind of “sponge city” in which the water that seeps away can be stored and made available again in dry phases.

Hellerhöfe Quarter in Frankfurt Gallus Modell Prize Winner

The model of Schmidtploecker Architects

New Hellerhöfe Quarter in Frankfurt Gallus courtyards

The greened courtyards

The winning design was particularly convincing due to its “cleverly placed perimeter block structure,” its beautiful street spaces and the green open spaces of the inner courtyards. The new quarter would thus “fit naturally into its surroundings,” according to the jury, according to a statement by the developers.

Innovative and convincing Competition Entries

The team of 03 Architekten and Studio Vulkan Landschaftsarchitektur (both Munich) was awarded second place in the competition. Their design included a large square inner courtyard of the eastern building block, which was to be extensively unsealed and planted with a variety of plants. The design also included the option of renting a home office space, an office or a workshop within the neighborhood, thus enabling new forms of living and working.

Third place went to the planners from KBNK Architekten (Hamburg) and BHF Bendfeldt Herrmann Franke Landschaftsarchitekten (Schwerin). They proposed to set an example in terms of resource-saving construction with gray energy by partially preserving the existing buildings.

New Hellerhöfe Quarter In Frankfurt Gallus 2. Prize Model

Model 2nd price

New Hellerhöfe Quarter In Frankfurt Gallus 3. Price Model

Model 3rd price

The Hellerhöfe project is being developed by a joint venture of F.A.Z., Frankfurter Societät, the real estate company Bauwens and Family Office Daniel Hopp. In the long term, the owners’ association plans to incorporate the new residential quarter into its own portfolio.

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