Taking as its title “Housing for All: New Frankfurt 2018”, in 2017 the City of Frankfurt Planning Dept., Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) and ABG FRANKFURT HOLDING for the first time launched an architecture prize for affordable housing. Other competition partners are the Deutscher Städtetag (Association of German Cities), the Bundesstiftung Baukultur (Federal Foundation of Building Culutre) and the Architektenkammer Hessen (Hessen Chamber of Architects and Urban Planners).

A total of 107 architectural practices from all over Europe participated in the first phase of the competition, submitting 131 projects for high-quality and affordable homes. The precondition was that these projects had been realized in the past four years. The jury then selected ten finalists from among these entries. They were all awarded a City of Frankfurt Prize and thus automatically qualified for the subsequent concept phase for Frankfurt’s new Hilgenfeld construction area. Seven teams of architects from Germany and neighboring countries then each developed a concept for affordable homes to be realized on at least one of the four sites reserved for this purpose.
A total of 40 percent of the apartments in the Hilgenfeld housing estate will stem from subsidized housing construction. In addition, 15 percent of the total area is earmarked for communal and cooperative housing projects. These areas will be awarded to the best concept rather than to the highest bidder. Moreover, all apartments financed on the open market must, so the plan, be offered at affordable rents. In this way, the Hilgenfeld housing estate is destined to become a model quarter for affordable and good housing construction. The goal is to show that today it is still possible to create affordable housing for Frankfurt citizens in the long term, at several levels and using a variety of approaches.

From among these entries, the jury then selected four prize-winners and also awarded one special commendation: Construction Site 3 will be dedicated to realizing the proposal by Duplex Architekten AG from Zurich (Switzerland) / Studio Duplex, Düsseldorf, Hamburg. For Construction Site 4, the jury selected the entry by schneider+schumacher Architekten ZT GmbH from Vienna (Austria). The jury was unable to decide in favor of any of the entries for Construction Sites 1 and 2. The designs submitted by NL Architects from Amsterdam (Netherlands) / Studyo Architects from Cologne) and Lacaton & Vassal Architectes from Paris (France) will now be revised and each realized on another construction site within the Hilgenfeld district. The jury bestowed a special commendation on Berlin-based Praeger Richter Architekten.

In the next phase of work, the prize-winners’ designs will be further optimized. An assessment will also be made of which standards from other countries can be transposed onto the Frankfurt construction area and what German standards could be called into question. The City of Frankfurt, ABG and DAM assume that this phase will also offer additional insights into cost-effective and good construction methods.
The Hilgenfeld construction area on the edge of the Frankfurter Berg district is some 14 hectares in size and is being developed by the City of Frankfurt and ABG as a residential area with around 850 rental apartments. Alongside the rental apartments, 15% of the area will be dedicated to communal and cooperative housing projects. The idea: to create affordable housing for all Frankfurt citizens in the long term.

Deutsches Architekturmuseum will be presenting the projects from the competition in a catalog and an exhibition scheduled to open on April 12, 2019, 7 p.m. The exhibition and the competition are part of the “New Frankfurt” exhibition, Frankfurt’s contribution to the National Bauhaus Year 2019. In this way, unconventional answers and architectural diversity are to be promoted when creating housing.

Prize-winners of Homes For All, Hilgenfeld Frankfurt 2019

Duplex Architekten AG from Zurich (Switzerland) / Studio Duplex, Düsseldorf, Hamburg (1st prize)
Taking as their motto “Stacked Boweries”, the architects propose a longer block along the entrance to the Hilgenfeld site with extraordinarily deep terraces both as covered access routes and as private balconies that will boast rich greenery to guarantee privacy and plants as sun protection. Modular footprints enable an array of very small through to regular sizes to meet the required mix of subsidized and freely financed apartments. The large innovative “cluster” apartments won praise – the architects have already successfully realized this concept in Zurich and these enable both multi-generation houses and new forms of flat shares. Individual areas per story that can be assigned a purpose later on will serve communal tasks.

Lacaton & Vassal architectes, Paris (1st prize)
For a rectangular and lengthy block, the architects propose using their “Plus” method (which they have already successfully deployed in Bordeaux and Paris) of enveloping a compact and solid volume by means of especially deep wintergardens made of polycarbonate. The additional surface area gained is offset by the poverty of the materials and standards used, whereby the ground plans are deeper than is customary. A large roof overhang provides passive sun protection in summer; the wintergardens with their insulating curtains retain the heat in winter. The support-free footprints mean any subdivision within the apartments is possible. There are no basements or elevators; access route have been minimized.

NL Architects, Amsterdam & Studyo Architects, Cologne (1st prize)
The architects propose a very striking terraced house forming a lengthy block, a typology they have already used in a different shape in Amsterdam. The greened entranceways are covered by the next respective story and thus protected from the weather, while the terraces open up generously and offer all the inhabitants the feeling of having their own free patio as if in a detached house. The construction material chosen is an innovative visible wood-and-concrete composite in order to overcome the insulation issues associated with the projecting roofs. The apartments run from front to back and have different widths in order to provide the desired mix of apartment types.

schneider+schumacher Architekten ZT GmbH, Vienna (1st prize)
The architects propose a dual house named “Max and Moritz” for one of the sites at the entrance to the construction area – following the Viennese model, which envisages an extraordinarily wide footprint and minimized access routes, something destined to impact very favorably on the expected rental and ancillary costs. A single elevator at a bridge between two almost triangular buildings as well as corridors with stairwells illuminated by a skylight each provide efficient access. Similar building access systems and apartment footprints are frequently used in Vienna. The apartments are spacious, but the desired mix is guaranteed all the same. In terms of size and layout, the high proportion of rental areas is exceptional. Also praiseworthy is the additional space afforded at the entrance to the quarter and the stores/hospitality outlets on the ground floor.

Special commendation

Praeger Richter Architekten, Berlin (special commendation)
Taking as their title “Frankfurt Homes Built to Rent”, the architects propose support-free footprints as a variation on their renowned “Ausbauhäuser” in Berlin, which are reversible and therefore open for future uses and can serve any subsidization scheme. The jury praised the goal of involving the tenants actively in their immediate surroundings in the form of roof gardens and free ground floors. A robust system of pre-stressed concrete slabs is intended to keep costs low and ensure long-term durability.


Herausgeber: © Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt a.M., Schaumainkai 43, 21.05.2019