Haus der Baugewerkschaft
Boege / Lindner Architekten
The teutonic austere forms of a multi-storey building in Frankfurt prompt us to examine the broad range of stone and its characteristics in terms of the methods of laying, the geometry of the ashlars and opportunities offered by the openings on the elevations. The nature and depth of the joints barely reveal the unfathomableness of the curtain wall, while the slender opaque portions of the inside elevations occasionally expose the cladding’s mechanical fixing elements. The natural/artificial contrast produces a very effective final result, renewing the architectural language of an age-old material. The stone has been cut into slender slabs with the utmost precision. The various styles of windows – close-knit and regular, curvilinear, like punctures – highlight the mechanism of the cladding’s façade and skills of conception and building. The ashlars have characteristic dual heights, with the classic exceptions of the two single courses at the base and the top. The strip at ground level must, furthermore, absorb the changes in height around the area where the building stands. The ashlars, which have the same width for both heights, are laid so as to give the elevations a feeling of regularity.
The dimension of the ashlars echoes that of the main colonnade overlooking the street, yet a further indication of design mastery. Other than in the public ground floor area, the polished sandstone is used especially in the vertical surfaces of the façades and, save the exception of the pilasters, always gives space to the other materials as well as the intradoses of the openings. In fact, the modernisation of stone construction is clearly visible owing to the variety of materials used in the elevation - wood, metal and glass – in a very essential style.