"THE NEW HUMAN, NEW HOUSING – The architecture of Neues Frankfurt 1925 – 1933" 23 March to 18 August 2019 at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum


Frankfurt/Main, 1925: The joint vision of the Lord Mayor of Frankfurt Ludwig Landmann and his Municipal Building Councilor Ernst May aimed to transform the city into an exemplary Modernist metropolis, both architecturally and in terms of culture as a whole. Theory became practice. The heart of the project was a model housing and urban development program of international significance. Modernism as a way of life was taking shape in Frankfurt.

 Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Neuer Mensch Neue Wohnung © Institut für Stadtgeschichte FFM_S7Wo12 Dr. Wolff & Tritschler

The construction program for 10,000 new dwellings, which Ernst May published in October 1925, was the deciding impulse. The New Frankfurt architects subsequently performed pioneering work in numerous fields, producing internationally acclaimed models such as apartments suitable for families, affordable apartment footprints for those living at subsistence level, the first standard kitchen, the industrial pre-fabrication of the shell, functional furnishings, child-oriented school architecture and integrated urban and landscape planning.

An international team the likes of which were only to be found in Frankfurt and at the Bauhaus in Dessau worked and experimented in the Frankfurt City Building Department. The city soon had such renown among experts that in 1929 the second International Congress of Modern Architecture (CIAM) convened not in Berlin or Dessau, but in Frankfurt.

The 300-square-meter exhibition staged by Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM) assembles the residential estates and selected New Frankfurt buildings that gave the city its reputation as a Modernist stronghold.

The exhibition is part of the cooperation between three municipal museums (Museum Angewandte Kunst, Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Historisches Museum Frankfurt), the recently founded Forum Neues Frankfurt (run by the ernst-may-gesellschaft e.V.), and the City of Frankfurt. This joint initiative represents Frankfurt’s contribution to the Bauhaus anniversary celebrations.

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