© B+G

Instituto Cervantes

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City, Country Frankfurt, Germany
Year 2007–2008
Client City of Frankfurt, Germany
Architect schneider+schumacher
Services Structural Engineering
Facts GFA: 2,637 m²
Awards Architekturpreis Vorbildliche Bauten in Hessen 2011, Award

The architects of the “America House” centre for information and culture, inaugurated in 1956, were Skidmore, Owings & Merrill SOM in collaboration with the Frankfurt Architect Otto Apel. The ensemble created in reinforced concrete skeleton construction is a listed building, which requires, among other things, the preservation of the façade tiles. In 2008, the building was handed over to the Spanish Cultural Institute Cervantes and converted.

Over the course of its refurbishment, historic building conservation, building physics and energy aspects had to be reconciled with a new usage concept. A new library building had to be integrated into the existing building's basement without changing the external contours of the complex. To provide an interior space high enough for the library area, the floor slab in the basement had to be laid deeper than the existing foundations. The new foundation was laid between the existing exterior walls in form of a trough.