Museum for Communication Frankfurt
Frankfurt’s Museum for Communication occupies a unique site on the Museumsufer, the city’s museum mile on the banks of the river Main. Founded as the Bundespostmuseum, or German Postal Museum, the museum was initially housed inside a historic mansion when it opened in 1958. In the 1990s, the architect Günter Behnisch added a new building that features a transparent cone made of glass and aluminium. With his design for the Museum for Communication Frankfurt, Behnisch – who had gained fame with his iconic Olympic Stadium in Munich – created an inspired composition of updated classicism and futuristic modernism.
In 1958 the German Postal Museum took up quarters in the Villa de Neufville, a mansion built on the Schaumainkai for the Frankfurt banking family by the architect Franz von Hoven between 1891 and 1893. Because the exhibition space in the former private home soon proved insufficient, the Federal Republic of Germany held a competition for an annex building. The winning design came from the Stuttgart firm Behnisch & Partners, one of the most important architectural practices in West Germany and a studio dedicated to buildings that eschew all symbolism of power.
Behnisch created a transparent and free-flowing architecture, built mainly of glass and aluminium, which stands in direct contrast to the warm sandstone of the historic mansion. The central element of the new building is a truncated glass cone that forms a spacious, light-flooded enclosure. Over its entire height, the floors open up to balconies that offer a clear view of all the levels. Behnisch positioned the main exhibition area below ground in order to protect the mature trees in the garden surrounding the villa. Today, the historic mansion itself houses the museum administration and the library.
In conjunction with the inauguration in 1990 of the multiple award-winning new building, the museum’s focus was broadened and realigned and its operations were modernised. Special exhibitions and a permanent exhibition deal with news and television technology, the history of communication and the digital transformation of the media. At the entrance, a sculpture by Nam June Paik greets visitors. The work is currently being refurbished in the restoration workshop, but Pre-Bell Man will again ride out to meet the visitors as of May 2019. Together with its sister museums in Berlin and Nuremberg, the Museum for Communication Frankfurt is part of the Museum Foundation Post and Telecommunication, established under public law in 1995. [DB/DK]
Contact and opening hours
Förderung im Rahmen der Klimaschutzinitiative des Bundesumweltministeriums.