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 opening the new museum complex in October 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 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 inside.
New Permanent Exhibition on Three Floors
Our new permanent exhibition will be presented on three floors in the Rothschild Palais, where 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.
In this film, architect Volker Staab talks to our director Mirjam Wenzel about his ideas for the design of our new "Lichtbau" and his concept of "protected openness" that characterizes the museum's architecture. Available with English subtitles.
Photographer Norbert Miguletz documented the construction work on the new Jewish Museum over five years. This time-lapse video was created from the resulting footage.
The 'Lichtbau' by Staab Architekten is characterized by open spaces, clear lines of view, and ample light.
View into the light-flooded atrium. The 'Lichtbau' by Staab Architekten is characterized by open spaces, clear lines of view, and ample light.
Cross-section of the new building showing the split-level design of the central atrium.
Cross-section of the old and new buildings showing the link between them.
In diesem Film erläutert der Architekt Volker Staab im Gespräch mit unserer Direktorin Mirjam Wenzel seine Ideen zu dem Entwurf unseres neuen Lichtbaus und sein Konzept einer "geschützten Offenheit", das die Museumsarchitektur prägt.
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
The "Lichtbau" and the Rothschild Palais 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-high tree sculpture by Ariel Schlesinger that is visible from a distance.