David Adjaye's Gesamtkunstwerk: See the Architect's Plans for a Vast Multi-Use Cultural Campus in Frankfurt

Rendering of David Adjaye's proposed Kulturcampus
(Courtesy Adjaye Associates)

David Adjaye, the London-based architect responsible for Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art and the forthcoming National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., is moving on to bigger projects. Next up for his Berlin office is a cultural "micro city" in the heart of Frankfurt, its first public commission and largest European project to date.

The proposed "Forum Kulturcampus" would serve as an urban concept study in mixed-use development, integrating the arts, education, housing, and offices on the 16.5 hectare (1.8 million square-foot) former site of Frankfurt University. Adjaye's designs connect these different spaces using a central foyer while the perimeter remains porous, admitting the rest of the city into the campus. The proposed complex would be home to nine very different cultural institutions, including Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts, the Institute of Social Research at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt, and the Hessische Theaterakademie.

Nikolaus Hirsch, dean of the Städelschule Architecture Class in Frankfurt and an adviser on the cultural campus project, tapped Adjaye to design it after having invited him as a lecturer in 2003. "David has created a much more complex configuration which actually brings different functions together and provides an interlocking system," Hirsch told BD UK Online. "It’s a very smart intervention."

Click on the slide show to see renderings of David Adjaye's proposed Kulturcampus.