Technical Administration Building of Hoechst AG
The technical administration building of the Hoechst dye works designed and built by Peter Behrens (1920–24) is one of the foremost examples of Brick Expressionism. A stylized rendering of its tower and bridge sections was used as Hoechst’s logo. The building has been owned since 1998 by Infraserv GmbH & Co. Höchst KG, and serves as the headquarters of Infraserv and the Hoechst pension fund. The building can only be visited in conjunction with guided tours.
The 185-meter-long complex incorporates the company’s various technical departments, which had previously been spread out over the dyeworks. Behrens’ design features two administrative wings with rampart-like bases and an entrance hall featuring a distinctive tower and bridge connecting the new building to the old office block (dated 1892). Behrens ensured variety through the use of colored bricks, window formats and crystal motifs as well as handmade details. Truly striking is the interior of the 15-meter-high hall in the central wing, with masonry pillars that frame the octagonal skylights above and taper down. The play of color emanating from the green, blue, red, violet, orange, and yellow clinker bricks, lends an enchanting touch to the building’s expressive heart, and was faithfully restored in 2007.
The building soon lost importance: about a year after it was opened, the dye works merged with other companies to form I.G. Farbenindustrie AG, whose headquarters were relocated to the I.G. Farben Building built in 1930 by Hans Poelzig. The Behrens building was altered several times even in the 1930s, for example the aisles of the exhibition space on the ground floor were converted into a telephone exchange, and the large conference rooms in the middle wing were broken up into offices. It was largely undamaged by World War II.
After the liquidation of I.G. Farben, the building— now given the designation C 770—became the personnel department of the Hoechst dye works. An extensive restoration was begun in 1998. The façades and windows, the floors, corridors (in part with wood paneling), galleries and courtyards, as well as the exhibition hall and the marble hall, were restored as far as possible to their original state. The office spaces, by contrast, were adapted to meet contemporary needs. [OH/HY]
Contact and opening hours
AddressTechnisches Verwaltungsgebäude Hoechst AG
65929 Frankfurt am Main
The building is not open to the public. Interested parties can take part one-hour guided toursin at Visitor Days for free. The group will walk together through the non-accessible Peter Behrens Building.