Topotek 1’s design for the Adorno Gymnasium in Frankfurt considers density to be an opportunity and envisions a building in which identities can take form and unfold while at the same time fostering social encounters through an open spatial structure. The dense overlapping of the elementary school, high school, and assembly hall in one place represents the essential potential of this design, which combines open plazas, shared entrances and corridors, as well as outside places to create a spatial atmosphere that is both public and intimate at the same time.
Located within the heart of Frankfurt city, the complex is carefully embedded into its most heterogeneous environment, thus interacting with its broader social, spatial, and infrastructural context. The quiet, six-storey structure on Miquelallee complements the site’s large-scale, urban metropolitan area, which appears in the black city map as an outer circle surrounding the core city. The interrelation of circle and center also shapes the building’s architectural design. The school itself forms an inward, protected public space, mirroring the idea of the school as a „civitas.“ In this sense, the building can be understood as a small city of its own – a typology that offers space for open assembly, exchange, and community while at the same time creating places for reprieve and concentration.