Visualisierung des neuen Museumskomplexes des Jüdischen Museums Frankfurt mit Rothschildpalais und Erweiterungsbau

The New Jewish Museum – Architecture

Historic Rothschild Palais and modern 'Lichtbau'

The expansion of the Jewish Museum has given rise to a completely new museum complex. The modern extension was designed by Staab Architekten and has been built next to the historic Rothschild Palais. The two buildings form a harmonious ensemble of new and old, thus creating a new cultural center in the heart of Frankfurt. The opening is scheduled for April 2020.

On July 16, 2015, the Frankfurt City Council approved the expansion of the Jewish Museum Frankfurt and the renovation of the historic Rothschild Palais. In winter that year, construction work began on the new Jewish Museum. Project management has been in the hands of the city-owned MuseumsBausteine Frankfurt GmbH. The work will soon be completed, and we look forward to open the new museum complex in April 2020.

Renovation of the Rothschild Palais

The historically preserved rooms of the Rothschild Palais have been refurbished, carefully upgraded in places, and connected to the neighboring building. In the Rothschild Palais and the adjacent building at Untermainkai 14, fixtures from the Jewish Museum’s founding years were removed and the rooms were partially restored to their historical form. Hidden from the outside, two elevators have been integrated into the transitionary area in front of the old buildings and provide easy access to all of the exhibition spaces in them.

On the history of the Rothschild Palais

Home, library, and museum: learn more about the history of this neoclassical treasure on the banks of the Main River.

Diese historische Grafik zeigt eine Ansicht des Untermainkais in Frankfurt am Main mit dem Rothschildpalais

New permanent exhibition on three floors

Our new permanent exhibition will be presented on three floors in the Rothschild Palais. In it you will learn about Frankfurt’s Jewish history from 1800 to the present. Earlier centuries are the focus of the Judengasse Museum.

A special area is planned for the museum’s education department with offices for educators and two rooms for events. Most of the museum’s administrative offices will be accommodated on the uppermost floor.

The 'Lichtbau' by Staab Architekten

The extension is located in the former garden behind the Rothschild Palais. Designed by Staab Architekten, it doubles the size of the museum. The spacious lower level alone will provide 630 square meters of space for future temporary exhibitions. The building contains a large foyer behind the new main entrance, an events room, and a visitors’/specialized library with an archive. There will also be space for a museum café, a shop, workshops, and administrative offices.

The interior design is characterized by striking contrasts between exposed concrete surfaces and warm wood paneling. Open spaces, pools of light, and a split-level design create an unexpected spatial experience. The heart of the architecture is a light-flooded atrium surrounded by public and non-public areas. Visitors to the library and café can peer through large windows into the hall below.

The new museum forecourt

Modell des Kunstwerks "Untitled / Ohne Titel" für das neue Jüdische Museum Frankfurt von Ariel Schlesinger
Tree sculpture by Israeli artist Ariel Schlesinger

The 'Lichtbau' and the Rothschild Palaia open into an appealing new museum forecourt facing the Wallanlagen park. In 2019, this urban space was named Bertha-Pappenheim-Platz and is now the museum’s official new address. Where the old and new buildings meet, visitors are welcomed by an eleven-meter tree sculpture by Ariel Schlesinger that is visible from a distance.