The internationally renowned 'Portikus' exhibition space is given a new home upon the Main island at the 'Old Bridge' in Frankfurt. The new construction designed by Prof. Christoph Mäckler is an exhibition space for contemporary art and is part of the Hochschule für Bildende Künste - Städelschule. The development of the island is a part of the redevelopment and widening of the bridge, and represents the historical situation with various bridge constructions.
The form of the house is based upon Frankfurt houses from the middle ages. The Portikus is a simple building with an architectural form that reflects the simplicity of the exhibition area within it. The heart of the Portikus consists of a clear, minimalised exhibition space with a roof incorporating glass brickwork, a peripheral gallery balcony within and a gallery. Because the gabled roof is aligned to the north, the ingress of daylight via the glass roof into the interior occurs without glare. The basement storey accomodates the administration area.
The minimalised, effective lighting concept also designed by Prof. Mäckler Architects was developed and implemented by Siteco for the complete building. A twin-lamp DUS trunking system equipped with two different light colours (neutral white and warm white) supplies the basic lighting requirements of the exhibition hall. The artificial light sources can be individually addressed with a lighting control system according to requirements. SiCOMPACT high-performance projectors are situated upon the roof that illuminate the glass brickwork at night, providing a daylight-similar lighting ambience within. The building at night from the city centre is perceived as a a 'luminous roof', as part of the projectors shine upon the roof construction.
Since the official handing over of the keys on the 5th April 2006 to Prof. Dr. Daniel Birnbaum, Director of the Staatlichen Hochschule für bildende Künste and the Verein Städelschule Portikus e.V., the building has an additional highlight. Professor Birnbaum has managed to engage the world-famous danish-islandic artist Olafur Eliasson for two years. The first work within the series 'Light Lab' from Olafur Eliasson and supported by Siteco has been installed underneath the glass roof of the Portikus and is visible at night from outside. A giant yellow light curve can be seen and is a part of the Luminale during the light+building trade fair (23.-27.04.2006). Especially impressive is the constant interplay of light reflections upon the surface of the Main river. Further lighting installations will be implemented over the next two years and will continually change the appearance of the building.
The building within the heart of Frankfurt has become a new landmark for the city in terms of architectural, lighting and cultural aspects. On the 5th May the first exhibition can be seen, showing works from Marjetica Potrc from Slovenia and from Tomas Saraceno, an argentinian artist living in Frankfurt.