The Dom-Römer Project (German: Dom-Römer-Projekt) is an effort to remake the old city center, the Altstadt (old town) of Frankfurt am Main, Germany, which was severely damaged during World War II, in the style of the pre-war architecture.
It aims to give the old town quarter between the Römerberg square and the Frankfurt Cathedral (Dom) a new life. The old city had already been thoroughly changed in 1904 by hewing several aisles for wide streets into the medieval cluster of insalubrious houslets and small alley ways, clearing the way for a tramway line through the historic center.
Due to the heavy bombing of Frankfurt am Main in World War II with many timber-framed buildings, most of the city's old town was destroyed. The efforts to rebuild parts of it began in the 1950s with the Römer city hall, which was built as a modern office building behind the old façade still standing after the war, and parts of the surrounding Römerberg square, building an underground multi-storey car park, and on top of that the modern Technisches Rathaus (Technical City Hall, built 1972-74), whose façade paid homage the historic context of the city with the timber frame design (Fachwerk) of the pre-war architecture, but within the context of "Brutalist architecture". The Historisches Museum (Museum of city history) was also built, including a cinema In its entranceway, the museum displayed a model of the old center as it looked at the end of World War II; in ruins.
A change of direction came in the 1980s when the Ostzeile (Eastern row) or Samstagsberg (Saturday hill), i.e. the line of houses opposite the Römer city hall, was built mimicking the old style, with a problematic inclusion of concrete in the part wood construction.
The anti-brutalist movement continued in a public campaign to demolish the Technische Rathaus and to make the old city look like before the war. This did finally succeed, the Technisches Rathaus and the Museum of City History were demolished in 2010/2011, and the reconstruction of the pre-war city centre began.
In total, 35 buildings are projected until 2016, with 15 reconstructions of former old town buildings among them.
The project is being built on top of a 1970s underground multi-storey car park with an underground railway line underneath. Because of the demolition of the Technisches Rathaus, the underground moved and the tunnel had to be watched closely and corrected several times.
Media related to Dom-Roemer-Projekt at Wikimedia Commons
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