Architecture Exhibitions International

Deutsches Architekturmuseum DAM Frankfurt/Main

A Monument under Pressure

Sep 7, 2019–Feb 16, 2020
Heutige Ansicht des Saals Foto: Moritz Bernoully, 2019

In the hope that Frankfurt would become the new German capital, the Paulskirche was rebuilt as a potential seat for the parliament in 1947\48, having been severely damaged by bombing raids. For this building task of national importance, the „Paulskirche Planning Committee“ was established, which, besides the prominent church architect Rudolf Schwarz, included his former staff member Johannes Krahn, the winner of an early competition Gottlob Schaupp as well as Municipal Planning Councilor Eugen Blanck. They wanted to “represent an image of the difficult path that our people must walk in this their most bitter hour” and created a deliberately sober space that symbolizes the new democratic era. By now, the Paulskirche has become a ceremonial hall where nationwide debates have their origin. However, its architectural quality is seldom acknowledged. The exhibition outlines the history of its construction and rebuilding from 1786 to today in parallel with the relevant political and social trends. Numerous historical and current photos are displayed, along with design drawings from the DAM’s collection. Particular attention is paid to the renovations in the 1960s and 1980s, which were accompanied by calls for reconstruction of the church to a pre-war state. These are resurfacing today in light of the approaching technical refurbishment.