A colourful triad

Conversion of an Art Déco villa with two annexes into an international bilingual Montessori school

A chic, stately villa from the early 20th century, an elegant extension from the early 1960s and a cool new building from the 1970s - for many years this heterogeneous ensemble in downtown Frankfurt was a place for business transactions. But now children have conquered the buildings! The ensemble became the new home of the ibms - international bilingual montessori school.

Architecturally, there was a lot to consider. Significant interventions in the substance were necessary in order to strengthen the existing qualities. In the future, colors will be used as a guidance system through the areas of the building. Every single room was given an individual solution to emphasize its character. In addition, newly designed open spaces were created around the buildings, offering many opportunities for the children to play.

Senckenberganlage 20-22, Frankfurt on MainTalanx Immobilien01/2019
6.250 m2 BGF, 2.450 m2 Freiflächen5,5 Mio.€General planning without MEP, Lph. 1-8 + landscape planning
Revitalization, conversion, interior designBen Kuhlmann

The room color concept

A basic color is assigned to the three childcare areas of the ibms, Nido (Italian for nest, 6 to 18 months toddlers), kindergarten and school. A new external and internal design concept runs through the building like a net. Individual solutions for individual rooms were developed to emphasize their character and special features, such as room composition and lighting conditions. The room surfaces are not completely covered by the new intervention. In certain areas the historical layers shine through. The history of the entire ensemble becomes visible, similar to a palimpsest.

‹ Please click on the left to enlarge the plans and for more pictures.










A garden to play in

The back of the plot with no building on it was converted into an adventure playground. The large trees form the framework for a comprehensive and child-oriented landscape and playground design.

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    Art Déco Villa

    A listed building dating from 1906 forms the representative access from the Senckenberganlage. After redevelopment, the manorial building will house the infant care center (Nido) on the first floor and the administration on the upper floors.

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    Extension 1961 (not in the picture)

    Further north on the property is the first, elegant four-story extension built in 1961, whose design borrows from the listed old building. After the conversion, the ground floor will house Nido infant care, the first floor will house the kindergarten and the floors above will house the school.

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    In 1972, a five-story annex was built behind the villa as a further extension. The surfaces are oriented towards the back and the playground in the garden. On the first floor are the rooms of the Nido infant care, on the second floor those of the kindergarten and above that those of the school. The cafeteria is located on the top floor.

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    On the 2,450 m2 plot of land behind the ensemble, an adventure playground was built where children can play during breaks and after school. The old stock of trees was preserved.

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    The color-space concept

    The color-space concept serves as an orientation and runs through the entire school building. On the ground floor, the blue of the Nido (infant care) dominates, on the first floor it is the yellow of the kindergarten and above is the green of the school. The entrances to the areas are designed in the respective color.