Haus Marie

Marie is covered with PREFA

Frankfurt’s new housing complex on the site of the former Saint Mary’s Hospital

Almost 4.000 square metres of PREFA 29 x 29 rhomboids and Prefalz are becoming the new eye-catcher in Frankfurt’s chic Nordend – not only from a bird’s eye perspective. The prominent new construction project Marie vividly demonstrates how laborious it is to adapt the historical aesthetic to modern demands – and how well PREFA materials are suited for it.

Project Marie before
The Saint Mary’s Hospital during the complicated demolition work in 2017.

Frankfurt’s leading real estate developer Instone, which specified the project’s planning foundations and oversaw the entire building process, in coordination with the executive processors of RUHLAND + RIEGLER made the choice to use the two PREFA products in the colour P.10 dark grey as covering material, because these promise a high longevity with a material warranty and guaranteed colours of 40 years. “Using these aluminium products makes it possible to uniformly cover the numerous details of this roof with only one material,” as Christian Müller, whose company RUHLAND + RIEGLER is carrying out the project, says. That the numerous elements like the mantelpiece and windows can be constructed in the same design is particularly important if high optical standards should be fulfilled, as in this case. Especially with a roof of this dimension and shape that stands out with such a presence, it is a matter of aesthetics.

In Frankfurt’s popular housing district Nordend, a sophisticated housing complex is being created that is crowned with a remarkably striking mansard roof. After the demolition of the historical Saint Mary’s Hospital (Sankt Marienkrankenhaus), the new construction project should adequately fill the resulting 14.000 square metre gap. Despite its size, parts of the roof of this comprehensive new construction are also modeled after its old version, similar to the external façade – including its 85 dormers and countless individual details. In connection with all the technical standards that need to be fulfilled with respect to construction physics and fire protection, the roof became a special challenge during the construction process.

Project Marie
PREFA 29 x 29 rhomboids and an exemplification of the numerous, elaborate details.

Cast from the same mould

2.000 kilogrammes of aluminium were processed solely for the manufacture of valleys, hips and connections, as Mr. Müller reports. All window or outlet vent enclosures that require narrow connecting elements and special edgings can continue to be in the same material and thus merge visually with the rhomboid tiles, thanks to PREFA’s products. “That is why, in the end, everything looks like it is cast from the same mould, which creates a harmonious overall appearance.”

The fact that, despite the roof’s size, the choice fell on the small and with its 2.6 kilogrammes per square metre lightweight PREFA 29 x 29 rhomboid and the product Prefalz, is also advantageous in that large amounts of the covering material can be easily transported to the construction site where it is used. What is more: Without special machinery, solely with ordinary tinsmith tools, the aluminium rhomboids can be flexibly cut and brought into shape depending on the requirements, as Christian Müller emphasises.

Even though he already has experience with projects of this size, Müller has to admit: “You do not have dimensions like these every day.” That is why he repeatedly got together with the construction management of the façade and PREFA in the two years preceding the start of the construction work, in order to come up with the most elegant solutions for the roof segments in close collaboration. This way, they were able to guarantee a high technical functionality.

Project Marie
Part of the building where numerous Prefalz-tracks sit enthroned on the roof.

Highest demands regarding appearance and function

A lot of value was placed on an accurate and high-grade façade, which also has to due with the fact that the new building should naturally blend in with the historically grown cityscape of the well-kept, bourgeoise residential district. After all, it is characterised by numerous Wilhelminian style turn-of-the-century buildings and boulevards as well as its romantic courtyards. With the demolition of the Saint Mary’s Hospital in 2017, which was constructed by the architect Hans Rummel from Frankfurt between 1904 and 1907 in the Wilhelminian style, a venerable old building and a piece of the history of Frankfurt that formed part of the core of this district disappeared.

The new building ensemble of eight apartment houses with five to seven floors should elegantly fill the gap that was created. With its simple name – Marie – the new building pays tribute to the old hospital. The the building complex was designed by the architect Magnus Kaminiarz, who died in 2019 and was also responsible for Germany’s tallest high-rise residential building, the 172 metre high Grand Tower. The architect had to manage the balancing act between making sure that its outer appearance conforms with Frankfurt’s preservation statute, on the one hand, and fulfilling the clients’ high demands with modern and exclusive features, on the other.

Project Marie
Tinsmiths’ work with PREFA 29 x 29 rhomboids.

The floor plans and rooms were designed with the necessary creativity to ensure generous ceiling heights of up to four metres. What is being created here are habitable wellness oases: Almost every apartment has a loggia and is equipped with a (roof) terrace or a balcony. The completion of the planned 236 apartments, of which 181 units are intended as owner-occupied flats, is set for the end of 2021.

PREFARENZEN will also will stay on the ball with this project and report on future developments.



Country: Germany
Building, location: housing complex, Frankfurt am Main
Category: new construction
Architecture: Magnus Kaminiarz
Material: ➔ PREFA rhomboid façade tile 29 x 29, ➔ Prefalz
Colour: P.10 dark grey

Text: Ute Watzl
Visualisation & Destruction Work Photograph: Instone Real Estate (Ferhat Köseoglu)
Photographic documentation of construction site: RUHLAND + RIEGLER GmbH (Christian Müller)


With the PREFARENZEN dialogue platform, PREFA created a forum for the further development of innovative and architecturally sophisticated roof and façade solutions made of aluminium.

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