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Old Town Reconstructed

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Old Town Reconstructed
Old Town Reconstructed

Video: Old Town Reconstructed

Video: Old Town Reconstructed
Video: WARSAW'S OLD TOWN - The Incredible Story of Reconstruction 2023, November

The former old town was recreated in Frankfurt / Main: it should look as it did before it was destroyed in World War II. Half-timbered houses, courtyards, figurative jewelry and gilding work now play a major role again.

Author: Petra Neumann-Prystaj |

Photos: Caparol Farben Lacke Bautenschutz / Claus Graubner

How do you know what the facades of the pre-war houses, which date from different centuries, looked like? Most of the photos from that time are black and white photos. Fortunately, the planners were able to use a model that is on display at the Historisches Museum Frankfurt today. Two brothers from Frankfurt had rebuilt the old town to scale between 1926 and 1962. The colors of these miniature buildings and their recordings served as a guide when creating the color concept.

Using the airbrush process, restorer Heinrich Paulus-Füller depicted the 15 buildings that were to be reconstructed in great detail. Twenty “creative new buildings” complete the ensemble between the cathedral and the Roman.

Color coordinated

Markus Schlegel, Professor of Color Design, was commissioned with the color master planning. His task was to bring the "creative new buildings" into harmony with the reconstructed buildings. The protection of historical monuments had to be taken into account as well as the different ideas of the architects, building owners and the design advisory board of the city of Frankfurt. Schlegel created the color master plan for facades and windows so that the building types together result in "a harmonious composition" and a coherent picture of the old town. "To do this, we first extracted concrete shades from Paulus-Füller's color analysis for the reconstructions and combined them with a newly developed color scheme for the creative new buildings," explains Schlegel.

Since it was not possible to test the effect of the colors and surface structures on the spot due to the narrow streets in the new Dom-Römer quarter and the ongoing construction work, the old town area was rebuilt in 2014 on a scale of 1: 5. The facades and individual rows of houses in the overall view represented 2.20 meter high color samples.


It was important for Schlegel that the cathedral, for example, has been given a colored stage: because it is one of the quarters of the quarter and its color is taken from the Roman to the church tower and reflected in shades of red.

Most of the exterior surfaces were painted with facade lime or with silicate paint, and linseed oil paint was used for the wooden components. "Modern architecture is much more colorful because there are completely different pigments today than in the 19th century," explains Dr. Christian Brandes, expert for high quality old building renovation. In terms of feel, silicate colors best correspond to the historical model, but also lime colors, which are more complex to process.

Exact specifications

Logistics was the biggest problem for the painting companies involved. Since there were hardly any storage options on the premises, the colors had to be delivered "just in time" and stored in a tiny space. At times, a crane could be used to transport the material; more often, the employees themselves had to haul it up to the upper floors.

"That was an unprecedented planning and design challenge," says Guido Mensinger of the Mensinger painter's workshop about the Dom-Römer project. "We have built two reconstructions and eighteen new buildings on the site, for a total of 20 facade designs." He found the color design of the two reconstruction buildings to be more straightforward than that of the eighteen new buildings because of the exact requirements to be met. Because with these modern building technology had to be brought into line with the wishes of the architects.

The company Steueragel and Lampert created five reconstruction facades with Histolith coatings, including the "Golden Waage". The reconstructed Renaissance building with its gold decorations and integrated spoles (original pieces of the original building) is the "star" of the new old town. The half-timbered facade consists of old oak from historic buildings. "To coat the half-timbered facades of Goldener Waage and Rebstockhof, we tinted the linseed oil paint with real pigments from the region," says Jörg Held. In this way, the most authentic look possible was achieved.

When painting the wooden ceiling of the Rebstockhof in Braubachstrasse, the company used Alkyd Geo, a new type of paint binder that is made from 50 percent renewable raw materials.

Further information:


Products used

  • Histolith facade lime
  • Histolith linseed oil paint
  • Sol silicate paint
  • Alkyd Geo paint binder