Messe Frankfurt wants to make its trade fair activities more visible and transparent for passers-by on the east side of Hall 1. A competition carried out in 2017 with a view to creating additional restaurant units in the hall (approx. 18,000 m²) made it clear that only a strong design element would bring about a new and significant external impact.
The competition winners, Frankfurt-based architects Alexandra Geiseler and Bernd Gergull of geiseler gergull architekten, proposed a “window to the city”, which captured the two restaurant units in a single striking frame. Work on implementing the design will commence when the summer break begins in July.
This will involve redesigning the overall east façade of Hall 1, which was built in 1989 together with the City Entrance based on designs by German-American architect Helmut Jahn. The screen-printed glass and sheet-metal elements of the existing façade will be replaced completely by clear glass panels. A large red frame extending over both hall levels will serve as a spatial element both within the hall and externally towards the city. This gives the extensive façade a new focal point whose distinctive alignment reinforces the overall impact. This frame also extends out from the façade, providing additional seating space on both levels.
As Uwe Behm, Member of the Executive Board of Messe Frankfurt, explains: “The window to the city will be a real eye-catcher. It will add significant value to the space between Hall 1 and the Kastor high-rise. People will look up and wonder what is up there.” The café-bar on Level 1.1 (approx. 150 m²) will accommodate 84 patrons (48 seated and 36 standing), while the food service area on Level 1.2 (approx. 160 m²) will seat 60 guests, with variable seating and the option of extending the catering area into the hall itself.