Frankfurt Cancer Institute
Frankfurt Cancer Institute
A Translational Hub for Cancer Research
On the inner-city campus of the Goethe Frankfurt University Clinic, the new Frankfurt Cancer Institute closes a gap in the urban fabric between the Georg-Speyer-Haus (Institute for Tumor Biology and Experimental Therapy) on the east side of the building site and the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe-Universität Clinic west of it. The FCI is a centre for translational research and development of individual cancer therapies that is unique in Europe. The building supports space for more than 100 scientists from various research fields. Interdisciplinary, dynamically changing project teams work closely together in iterative cycles connecting research and patient care.
The building form’s rectilinear core supports primary functions while an outer “shell” offset on each side responds to the urban context. The core incorporates vertical access and building technology in its connecting traverses, with the transparent laboratory modules fit in between. Each floor offers areas for different functions and flexible use in the “shell” to enable collaboration and communication. To emphasise the building’s horizontality, each level can be glimpsed through the façade’s all-encompassing curtain, which cloaks the building like a lightweight textured garment. The curtain wall controls sunlight through variable parapet and lintel heights. Above the main entrance on the first floor, the outer shell is carved out in response to the surroundings, exposing the core and emphasising the entryway. This opens up and connects the building to the surrounding campus of the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe-Universität Clinic.
Three elements define the surrounding landscape. The forecourt establishes the building as an urban campus and has a closed surface with raised plant beds, while the garden is enclosed with one of the adjoining parts of the clinic building in order to create a self-contained place of respite. In contrast, the courtyard of the clinic and Georg-Speyer-Haus functions as a connecting area and serves as a vital open space and terrace-like expansion for users of all adjacent spaces.
In order to promote knowledge exchange and networking, research areas in the building core feature flexible lounges and communication zones on each floor. Glazed partition walls connect large-scale laboratories with surrounding areas, establishing a spatial flow around and through the central building area. Knowledge areas are differentiated from the laboratory zone through the use of colours and materials. Combined, these elements serve to make the FCI an ideal and inspiring environment that promotes interdisciplinary knowledge exchange and research at the highest level.