Handles by FSB in the German Romanticism Museum

in Frankfurt am Main


The acclaimed M CKLERARCHITECTS practice supplied the blueprint for the recently opened new building for the German Romanticism Museum (Deutsches Romantik-Museum) – the first museum anywhere devoted to the era of Romanticism as a whole in the German-speaking world. Unique original works are presented in innovative forms of display that allow the Age of Romanticism to be experienced as a seminal era. The architects opted for utter sophistication down to the last detail in the new museum building, which contains just under 17,250 sq. ft of exhibition floorspace spread over three storeys. Resort was had to door and window fittings by FSB in all areas of the building. As well as the FSB 1106 model Christoph M ckler designed himself, these also included a number of other variants, some custom-produced under the “FSB Handmade” scheme.

Christoph M ckler views the city, its streets and squares as public spaces lent shape by the fa ades of the buildings around. “The outer walls of houses are the interior walls of spaces such as streets and squares,” the noted architect and urban planner argues. In the most felicitous scenario, architecture accommodates itself to factors already obtaining in the urban fabric and takes them meaningfully further forward. His blueprint for the Romanticism Museum (Deutsches Romantik-Museum) achieves this with a fa ade design that enters into a union with the neighbouring Goethe House. The new building by MÄCKLERARCHITECTS opens itself up to the city on three fronts that differ in height, proportion, colour and material texture so as to localise the building’s various functions – as a museum, venue for changing exhibitions and means of mediating culture. “The differentiated entrances, unusually configured windows, blue oriel and dormer ventilator cause the interior to interact with the external space, thus projecting the Romanticist mindset onto the streetscape,” Christoph M ckler explains.

Grand gestures, gentle shapes and bijou detail.

The architects aligned the access staircase with the street fa ades in order to be able to install any form of windows at all in a museum whose sensitive exhibits need to be kept well away from daylight. The resultant “stairway to heaven” has become a highlight of the interior design in the process: the stairwell is completely bathed in blue and tapers upwards, giving the beholder the illusionary sense of its rising up into infinity. A gleamingly blue oriel references the blue flower, a symbol so central to the Romanticist movement that is emblematic of longing, love and a striving for eternity. Spiralling round an elliptical well, a second flight of stairs inside the museum serves to celebrate the art of grand gestures.

Christoph Mäckler has worked closely with FSB for more than twenty years now. The FSB 1106 model he designed, which has already been fitted in prestigious projects such as the Portikus exhibition centre, the Goethestr. 34 commercial block, the Living at Westhafen scheme in Frankfurt or, indeed, the Augustine Museum in Freiburg, has now also been used for the new German Romanticism Museum (Deutsches Romantik-Museum) building – in a special finish in some cases. The handle’s gentle curvature and traditional formal vocabulary match the museum’s romantically inspired interior to perfection. The FSB 1106 model has been fitted as a window handle and door lever for standard and narrow-frame doors. A matt-black PVD coating of stainless steel has been applied to the surfaces of the lever handles in keeping with the museum’s striking doors in black steel. The barrier-free lever/lever set FSB 4240 was likewise combined with M ckler’s own FSB 1106 design in matt black at the architects’ request. The “FSB Handmade” scheme enables door and window handles to be put to effect to bespoke order that are not otherwise covered by the company’s standard product portfolio. At M CKLERARCHITECTS’ instigation, for instance, the classically spherical doorknob FSB 0802 was enhanced with stylish knurling that imparts an outstandingly haptic quality to the Stainless Steel fitting and lends it a particularly precious appearance.

About FSB
FSB has been focusing on perfection for more than 140 years now and is a byword the world over for perfectly engineered hardware solutions, of the highest quality both visually and functionally, for doors and windows and barrier-free sanitary fit-outs. Architects and builders’ clients relish reaching out for products from Brakel in recognition of FSB’s great design expertise and profound understanding of the requirements of modern construction. Everything in any way associated with handle culture in built spaces is catered to from a single source.

Franz Schneider
Brakel GmbH + Co KG

Anne Levy
Nieheimer Straße 38
33034 Brakel
Telefon: +49 5272 608-105