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Domplatz and Weckmarkt - Redevelopment

More attractive cathedral surroundings

Topic:
Public space
District: Local district:
1
Size of area:
Domplatz: ca.4.500 m² Weckmarkt: ca. 4.600 m²
Project management:

Mr. Christoph Packhieser
Telefon: +49 (0)69 212 34115
Telefax: +49 (0)69 212 47644


Project description

Reason for planning
Domplatz, together with Hühnermarkt and Römerberg, is one of a series of plazas along the reconstructed, level Coronation Route, the Krönungsweg. In this series of plazas Domplatz, as the gateway to the old town, will once again be recognized as a plaza in its own right.

Before the buildings in the vicinity were destroyed in World War II, the cathedral was surrounded by a tight mesh of alleyways and small structures. Domplatz itself, however, was probably at no time anything more than a circulation area without any noteworthy design.

The appearance of Domplatz today dates for the most part from the 1970s. It is defined by surfaces paved with porphyry cobble stones, bollards along the road, and a group of sycamore trees in front of the cloister, beneath which there are two forlorn-looking benches. The surface design merely allocates traffic and pedestrians separate, dedicated areas. The road and parking bays dissect the plaza in terms of design and function. The low level of attraction of the plaza is in sharp contrast to its significance.

Development district
The development district lies in Frankfurt’s former old town, to the east of the cathedral-Römer area and the Römerberg, and south of Braubachstrasse in the direct vicinity of the cathedral (Kaiserdom St. Bartholomäus, “Dom” for short). The development involves several sections. The first embraces Domstrasse between Braubachstrasse and Domplatz, Domplatz and Kannengiessergasse. The area measures approx. 4,500 m². It is the direct entrance area to the cathedral and an important place for visitors to it to linger – and is currently the busiest spot in the vicinity.

The second and possible other sections, likewise measuring close to 4,600 m², embrace the areas to the east of the cathedral, the point of transition to Weckmarkt to the south, and Weckmarkt itself between Fahrgasse in the east and Saalgasse in the west (a continuation of Bendergasse).

The enclosed, landscaped cathedral garden is excluded from the plans.

Planning objectives
The intention is to create in this special place a traffic-free, urban public space that is geared to today’s needs. In the form of a continuous plaza that is not cut in two by an asphalt road, the cathedral will boast spacious, appropriate surroundings. Seating positioned in specific places will make the plaza a considerably more attractive place in which to linger. At a later point in time these urban qualities will also be introduced in other places in the vicinity of the cathedral.

Given the long-term, step-by-step redevelopment between the cathedral and Weckmarkt, and ideally in the rest of the historical old town, the extent to which the design ideas developed can be applied here as well with a view to creating a space continuum must be examined.

Project progress
The team from the landscape architecture studio capatti staubach Urbane Landschaften in Berlin emerged as the winner of a pan-European design competition. In late August 2018 a seven-member jury comprising experts and politicians unanimously selected the design from all the entries submitted. In addition to the plaza with its trees in front of the cathedral entrance, the winning planners are also designing a further plaza with a fountain on Kannengiessergasse. On Weckmarkt, a green theme will also be recognizable in the form of freely positioned trees.

The redevelopment of Domplatz is being financed with funds from the “Making Frankfurt More Attractive” program initiated by the city executive of the City of Frankfurt/Main. 



PDF files relating to the project