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From left to right: Till Schneider, Michael Schumacher and Kai Otto © Kirsten Bucher

Videoscript (from left) Andreas Rutschmann of Bollinger+Grohmann and the architects Till Schneider und Kai Otto from schneider+schumacher

For five years now, the Amann company has been setting up the Frankfurt Pavilion every year at the Frankfurt Book Fair. We're going to take it apart now, because it can be dismantled ... and congratulate the Frankfurt Book Fair on its 75th birthday. Congratulations! And now we'll try to put it back together again. Congratulations!


Books always reveal their inner self only when you take a closer look. But then, in the best case, they draw you right in ... this is exactly the image we had in mind when we designed the pavilion. A cocoon that opens up inside to an atmospheric and multimedia space. In the centre of the Book Fair, a significant place has been created for togetherness around books.

New stage for literary events

Trade fair construction obeys completely different laws than normal architectural tasks. Because of the time-limited use at industry-specific trade fairs, it is not uncommon for the constructions to end up on the rubbish tip after the events. It is obvious that this is anything but sustainable. 

The Frankfurt Book Fair wanted to take a counter-position with its temporary pavilion: The task for us architects was to create a space of around 500 square metres for a variety of events. At the same time, this object was to have a recognisable, emblematic effect over a period of at least ten years on the occasion of the annual fair. A geometry had to be found that would create a special space with a special feeling of space that would make the encounters between authors and the public an experience. The supporting structure had to be stable and material-saving, and the production costs also had to be kept in mind.


© Kirsten Bucher

The result is three identical, shell-shaped rib constructions made of wood, which are pushed into each other and then enclosed by a membrane. This joint promotes natural ventilation. Air enters the room through the joints in the area of the floor slab and is distributed. It continuously flows out through the openings integrated centrally in the roof. If the building looks like a closed shell from the outside, it surprises on the inside with its impressive, light wooden construction, which spans the space, resembling a bookshelf, and can ultimately be used as such. 

The parametric 3D planning method used resulted in a material-saving construction with the help of complex calculations and at the same time enabled a paperless way of working in which all changes were made via a digital data transfer, or data exchange.

Landmark of Frankfurter Buchmesse

In close cooperation with those responsible for the Frankfurt Book Fair, the structural engineers and the contractors, something special was created. A place that escapes the hustle and bustle of the fair and conveys a feeling of peace and security. 

The planning and implementation of this pavilion consistently respond to the challenges resulting from climate change: The project shows that, with the help of precise and integrative planning, a material-, cost- and resource-saving production can be achieved without aesthetic aspects falling by the wayside. Thinking about the building from the outset in such a way that CO2 consumption can be absolutely minimised in all phases of its development, production, use, storage and after-use is the main achievement of all those involved.

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Videoskript (v.l.n.r.) Andreas Rutschmann, Ingenieur bei Bollinger+Grohmann, sowie die Architekten Till Schneider und Kai Otto von schneider+schumacher

Seit fünf Jahren baut die Firma Amann jedes Jahr zur Frankfurter Buchmesse den Frankfurt Pavillon auf. Wir nehmen das jetzt mal vorweg und nehmen ihn erst mal wieder auseinander, weil er ist ja demontabel … und gratulieren der Frankfurter Buchmesse zu ihrem 75. Geburtstag. Herzlichen Glückwunsch! Und jetzt versuchen wir das wieder zusammenzusetzen. Herzlichen Glückwunsch!