FROM THE ARCHITECTS:
A competition first prize: The Waterfront Hotel is located at a prominent site on the “Molenspitze.” This west-facing triangular point of land sits at the end of an industrial peninsula used for warehouses and container shipping at Frankfurt’s East Bay. The site is further bound by two bridges (the Honsell and the Osthafen) which sequentially cross the Main River along a north-south axis. The site affords panoramic views of the European Central Bank, the new Hafenpark development area, and the prominent Frankfurt skyline. Due to the geometry of the site, the building is organized as a triangular pinwheel with offset corners defined by the depth of the hotel rooms. This strategy breaks down the mass of the 60-meter-tall building, which is further complimented by a folded accordion façade to maximize views and orientations. The façade facing the traffic intersections at the bridge crossing is folded to provide two entrance addresses, one for the hotel and boarding house. The boarding house and hotel are divided by an intermediate 12th level which acts as a meeting place equipped with a bar, fitness, spa and conference space. It is articulated asymmetrically by a column-free open-air loggia facing the west of Frankfurt.
The building is organized in a split-level with entrances to the hotel and boarding house above the “beach club,” which is located at the water. Due to shipping constraints the building cantilevers at the sides facing the water and at its prominent leading ship-like corner. Recalling a historical (yet unbuilt) structure for this site it will resemble a lighthouse: ephemeral and reflective. Due to the cantilevered building volume the facades are curtain walls that are materially and visually light. The cantilever simultaneously provides a roof over the beach club and river walk.
Rooms and furnishings:
Unique to the building’s construction are the cantilevered facades created by shear walls over the core construction, which means that the rooms have unobstructed views without structural walls or columns blocking the façade. The bay windows are framed with oak window-box seats to sit in combination with a working table. This entire zone for work or leisure can be spatially separated from the sleeping area by a light curtain when desired.
Project: Waterfront Hotel and Boarding House on the Molenkopf, Frankfurt, Germany
Architects: Barkow Leibinger. Frank Barkow, Martina Bauer, Robert Tzscheutschler, Sebastian Awick, Francesca Zecca, Pablo Sequero, Patrick Weber, Jan Szkarlat
Renderings Exterior: Ponnie Images