|Johannes Krahn - Germany|
Beehive House (Bienenkorbhaus)
Zeil 65 - 69, Frankfurt
Edging the market square at Konstablerwache, this skyscraper is one of the important buildings of the early reconstruction era
and should form a gatehouse of Zeil and wants to be understood as the counter part of the Hauptwache building.
With this building, commissioned by the "Frankfurter Sparkasse", Johannes Krahn was referring to the two years older Lever House in New York,
designed by Skidmore Owings and Merrill. The floating apperance, characteristic for this new kind of high-rise buildings, is achieved
by a slight constriction that separates the two-storey base from the rest of the building. The design of the facade with its window strips
and contrasting sill strips cladded in stone, give the appearance of the Beehive House an additional lightness.
The top section of the facade is formed by a two-storey roof zone paneled with stone, interspersed with a uniform series of square windows.
The frames of those square windows emerge from the smooth facade. The Beehive House, which takes its name from the logo of the client,
a bee hive attached to the roof and lit by night, should be integrated into the urban life by its mixed use. On the ground floor was located a shopping are,
which was open to the adjacent generous square, above were some floors with offices and on the top floor were located some apartments.
The two-storey base was hidden behind a disfiguring cladding through conversions made in the 1980s. During the renovation 2007-2008,
the architects KSP Engel und Zimmermann, oriented to the original facade plans and replaced the previous Anex through a dark,
six-storey cube, intersecting with the Beehive House in the basement. The new anex and base clearly stands out from the upper floors
of the building from the 1950s era. Unlike the original building, the base area does not stretch over the entire width of the building,
but is shortened fronting the Zeil, in favor of an arcade.