Frankfurter neue bank
Neueste Frankfurter Bank
2018

A 21st Century Update. The Re-invention of a Ferdinand Kramer / Frankfurt Legend.

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R&D & Engineering
Product Design
Product Execution

When the curator of museumangewandtekunst (museum for applied arts Frankfurt) approached us to work with them on a project concerning the Ferdinand Kramer Bank (a Frankfurt design legend) for their exhibition “Moderne am Main 1919 - 1933” we were honored and thrilled. Next to the re-creation of the 1920s’ original we were tasked to create a concept about what the bench could and would be in the present.
Neuste Frankfurter Bank (“Newest Bench from Frankfurt”) is the result of the re-iteration of the original Ferdinand Kramer bench.. With Neuste Frankfurter Bank we were tasked to develop a concept that carries the original design into the present. In order to satisfy the demands we needed to change the design in favor to modern computer aided manufacturing methods (i.e. manual labor vs. CNC routing), we had to find materials, that significantly lower the ecological footprint and had to re-think the use-cases in inner-city green zones towards a more communicative setting. With Neueste Frankfurter Bank we believe to have managed to achieve all three tasks. The bench is completely CNC milled, produced of FSC certified multiplex which is fully sustainable, painted with water resistant (natural) lacquer and with its serpentine like designed modules can meander along public ways. It is a communicative piece of furniture for public spaces of modern metropoles that gives space for random encounters and conversations.
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Ferdinand Kramer Bench
The actors of the New Frankfurt revolutionized not only residential construction, but also the design of public spaces. The city should be structured by recurring, carefully designed elements and combined into a single unit. One of these revolutionaries was Ferdinand Kramer whose bench design for public spaces from 1927 used to be found in parks and green spaces in Frankfurt at that time.
Rebuild the legend
We reproduced the kramer bench based on a design by Ferdinand Kramer from the 1920s. The difficulty was that there didn’t exist any construction plans, so our starting point were old pictures. The bench can now be found at two locations in Frankfurt am Main - in Metzlerpark and on the banks of the river Main where they are permanently installed in exchange with existing park benches.
Update the Legend
Neuste Frankfurter Bank shows that you can take a design product from past times, disassemble it into its individual parts, reiterate it and put it together into something that is technically state of the art. From a technical point of view it was an interesting task to alter an old design, so that it can be manufactured in a rational modern way.