US Consulate General Frankfurt and OBO Regional Operations Center

, US Department of State

Frankfurt, Germany

Entrance
Aerial
Courtyard
Consular Services
Exterior

Designing the conversion of a 1930s purpose-built hospital complex into a modern diplomatic campus supporting 100 U.S. missions in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa brought many opportunities for a creative revisioning of this complex project. The design, engineering, and construction team achieved the transformation of 14 inter-connected medical wings and courtyards into the largest consular post in the world — the U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt and OBO’s Regional Operations Center.

By analyzing and categorizing the multitude of spaces across the Consulate’s expansive campus, EYP established an overall organization and concept design that maximized the benefits of the original configuration.

The former patient wings consisted of individual rooms off double-loaded corridors. The new design brought natural light – and even natural ventilation via balconies – into open and private office spaces by retaining the exterior-facing windows present in each patient room and removing interior walls.

The irregular spaces between the adjoining hospital wings lent themselves to diverse outdoor spaces: small, covered seating; larger open courtyards; and formal ceremonial spaces. Landscaped paths and walkways connect the mix of spaces and building entrances. This landscaping also significantly reduces stormwater runoff, achieving the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations’ goal to reduce the impact on the local environment and supporting neighbors, especially in a historic city like Frankfurt.

Few large spaces for staff gatherings and public events existed within the long, narrow wings; however, a large exterior courtyard offered the right volume of space and was already surrounded by four wings, creating “walls.” Enclosing this quad with a skylight created a large and bright indoor area. Now this courtyard houses Consular Services, with the original outward-facing windows converted to service windows to conduct day-to-day Consular business.

Engineering-Focus

Dating from when the U.S. Army first inhabited the buildings in the post-war era, the electrical distribution infrastructure had fallen into disrepair: it was unreliable and unsafe. Additionally, the building had to support American electrical needs while meeting the German code. Large portions of the systems were ultimately replaced, working closely with German engineers.

Additional work included installing a complete, campus-wide, automatic fire protection system; installing dedicated heat recovery chillers; upgrading the main chiller plant; and providing new air conditioning systems to most of the building.

Building Facts

  • 9.4 Hectare (23 Acres) Site
  • 69,800 GSM (750,000 GSF) of Adaptive Re-Use
  • Consular Services, Centralized Training and Operations Center, Temporary Duty (TDY) Hotel, Regional Warehouse Facilities, Marine Security Guard Residence, Multipurpose Conference Facility, Facilities Support