Press releases

 

May 29 2024
11:24

Construction work on Westend Campus-based future Center for Humanities officially gets underway 

A showcase for Goethe University Frankfurt

Goethe University Frankfurt’s Westend Campus is set to receive yet another impressive building, with the official groundbreaking ceremony for the new Center for Humanities held on May 28, 2024. Once complete, the building will house 180 office workstations, three seminar rooms, a rehearsal stage and an exhibition space.  

FRANKFURT. Another building will be constructed on Goethe University’s Westend Campus over the course of the next two years. The new Center for Humanities will be prominently located on the corner of Miquelallee and Hansallee, and will dominate the campus’ appearance from afar. Its immediate neighbors are the Linguistics, Cultures and Arts building, completed in 2022, and the Leibniz Institute for Research and Information in Education (DIPF). 

“The Center for Humanities will become an easily recognizable prominent entrance feature of our Westend Campus. Designed by Goethe University’s own in-house architects, the building’s aesthetics will convey from afar how much life and creativity can be found on this campus,” says Goethe University President Prof. Enrico Schleiff. “The building’s current name already illustrates Goethe University's fundamental conviction that it takes strong research in the humanities and social sciences to sustainably shape tomorrow’s society.”  In addition to office and seminar space, the building will also house a rehearsal stage for theater, film and media studies. It will be available for usage by all Goethe University Frankfurt faculties. 

The Center for Humanities is the first construction project entirely planned and financed by Goethe University itself. The building’s external dimensions, known among architects as its “cubature”, were set during the spatial planning of the adjacent DIPF, the contract for which was awarded during a competition, explains Goethe University architect Esref Yavuz, adding that during the coronavirus pandemic, he built a model that takes very different usage needs into account. To ensure it fits in with the two neighboring buildings, he based the center’s floor heights on those of DIPF.

The original plan called for a purely administrative building, but discussions with future users showed that the third-party funded projects from the Faculty of Linguistics, Cultures and Arts, as well as that of Modern Languages, both of which currently still reside in Mensa II on the university’s Bockenheim Campus, require additional seminar rooms. In addition, a functional rehearsal stage for the theater scholars was also urgently needed. The new building will meet all these needs, boosting interdisciplinary research, including with Goethe University Frankfurt’s partners in the Frankfurt Alliance and the Rhine-Main Universities (RMU) alliance. 

The plans by architect Yavuz call for ground-level entrances located in the building’s east and west, leading into its spacious two-story glazed foyer, from which all other floors can be accessed. Although it is located in the basement, the rehearsal stage extends over two floors. The four seminar rooms, which all faculties may use, are located on the ground- and first floor, which also house study areas for students. The building’s second to fifth floors are reserved for office use and will primarily house third-party funded projects.

Excavation work began in March 2024, ahead of the groundbreaking ceremony. The building, whose construction costs are estimated at around €20 million and for which architectural firm ArGe Architekten has been brought on board, is due to be completed in 2026. Managing the project for Goethe University Frankfurt is Stephanie Köhler-Frank, architect in the planning and construction department.

Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Christoph Degen, state secretary in the Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and the Arts, said: “The Center for Humanities brings together research, teaching and culture, offering space for cutting-edge science as well as for students of theater, film and media studies. This will further advance Goethe University’s relocation, which the Hessian state government has already supported with over one billion euros from its HEUREKA university construction investment program. I wish everyone involved the utmost success in planning and implementing this great project.” 

Image for download: https://www.uni-frankfurt.de/153877120

Caption: The new Center for Humanities is being constructed on the corner of Miquelallee and Hansallee. (Illustration: ArGe Architekten)

Further information
Vanessa Fuchs
Assistant Planning and Building Department, Goethe University Frankfurt
Tel.: +49 (0)69 798-13828
Email v.fuchs@em.uni-frankfurt.de


Editor: Dr. Anke Sauter, Science Editor, PR & Communication Office, Tel: +49 (0)69 798-13066, Fax: +49 (0) 69 798-763 12531, sauter@pvw.uni-frankfurt.de