Tag Archives: IG-Farbenhaus

The IG Farben Building

Friday 10th May 2019, 5.55pm (day 2,815)

IG Farben building, 10/5/19

At one point during the conference I was attending at the Goethe University in Frankfurt today, there were vague references to ‘our famous building’ that drifted through my Friday consciousness but didn’t take hold. Then, on my way back into the city centre afterwards, I saw the building.

The IG-Farbenhaus has had a chequered history to say the least. HQ to the eponymous company, when built in the 1920s it was the biggest office building in Europe and remained so for thirty years. IG Farben manufactured the world’s first antibiotic — and also the gas that was used in the Nazi concentration camps. After the war the USA used it as a military base — the ‘Pentagon of Europe’; following German reunification ownership passed to the state of Hesse who renovated it and then helped the Goethe-Institut build a new campus around it from 2001 onwards. And all set in parkland (kept free of development by the Americans for security reasons) right in the city centre.

I’m sure this photo doesn’t do the architecture full justice, but what the hell, the sun looks good too.

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