ABB Architects - Germany
Hotel Intercontinental
Wilhelm-Leuschner-Strasse 43, Frankfurt
1961 - 1963


The Hotel Intercontinental, designed by ABB Architekten, is the second largest in terms of capacity in the city of Frankfurt am Main and in the same respect, the fifth largest in Germany. The property of the hotel is located in the southwest area of the railway station district in immediate neighbourhood to the river Main. The foundation stone for the building was laid in June 1961. The official opening was celebrated after nearly two years of construction on 6 June 1963. At the time of the inauguration, the Hotel Intercontinental was the largest hotel in Germany and one of the tallest buildings in the city of Frankfurt. At this time the rooms and the common areas were groundbreaking and of exceptional high standard.

The long and rectangular River Wing building volume follows the river course and is aligned in northeast-southwest direction. This main volume is placed in the southern third of the almost square plot. The construction of the River Wing has 21 floors, is 67 meters high and houses a total of 470 rooms. Typical for its time, the fašade lacks any architectural decoration, only a horizontal structure is realized through the rhythm of circumferential bands of windows and parapets, consisting of a very dark natural stone. As a consequence of weathering and dirt, the natural stone has strongly darkened, so the building appears from a distance as it would be made of exposed concrete. The 21st floor exposes isolated window cuts and an elongated opening for the roof terrace of the restaurants. On the narrow sides, on the east and west sides, are to be founde staircases. The western one is more prominent, free-standing but connected to the main volume by open bridges. On the flat roof edge sits a service floor which is recessed from the main fašades.