Dondorf’sche Druckerei is Demolished
The brick building of Dondorf’sche Druckerei in Frankfurt’s Bockenheim district already seemed to have been saved. The Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics was to move there. But now it turned out that the building fabric is too bad.
Some buildings recall the industrial history of Bockenheim in the Frankfurt district. These include the impressive brick building of Dondorf’s former printing house and its associated chimney. The 1873 factory building is part of the Industrial Heritage Trail, which commemorates the history of manufacturing in the region.
The property is still used by Goethe University and will soon be vacated. What happened next was not clear for a long time. The municipality is obliged to preserve or declare an industrial museum or convert it into a residential building. The area has also been discussed as a site for new construction at the University of Music and Performing Arts. So it probably had to go to the press. Because the building on Sophienstraße has not been placed under antiquities protection despite extensive examinations.
Conversion should be Completed in 2023
It seems that rescue came in 2018. At that time, the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Aesthetics decided to move from its previous premises on the Grüneburgweg to Bockenheim. The project by the Fritsch + Tschaidse office in Munich, awarded in a competition, provides for the maintenance of the print shop, transforming and expanding it – a theme that has recently gained importance from the point of view of sustainable construction.
In 2023, the conversion and new building are due to be completed, and the institute founded in 2013, which researches the foundations of the aesthetic evaluation of perception and experience, is due to move from its former location on the Grüneburgweg to Bockenheim in the same year.
But nothing will come of it. It hasn’t started yet. The Max Planck Institute said on request that the university is using the building for a longer period than originally planned. Technical Education only came out last year, and University Archives will follow later this year. Only then can the construction site be prepared. Construction work could start in late 2024 or early 2025. The institute move is planned for spring 2028. That will be five years later than planned.
Requirements that must not be met
The project, awarded in the architecture competition, will continue in principle, but with a crucial difference: the structure of the old building will not be preserved, but demolished. The institute said extensive investigations and analyzes showed that the requirements placed on the workplace and research building could not be met.
This is especially true of fire protection, rules for polluting loads, and requirements for physical construction and supporting structure. The existing building of the old typography cannot be maintained or renovated within a justified economic framework.
“As a publicly funded research institution, the Max Planck Society is also committed to economics in its building projects,” the statement reads. Thus, it was decided to dismantle the existing building, that is, to demolish it. “However, it is intended that the building be built in its original form with the facades reconstructed, based on the historic model.”
The decision and background have already been submitted to the municipal administration and the local advisory council.