Frankfurt am Main, Lutherhaus

Compare the simplicity of the San Francisco intersection with the subtlety and complexity of this one. While it is not possible to know for certain about the areas outside the photograph, we can make some surmises about the entire intersection. We certainly have a street going off to the right, and apparently another street going off to the left, but it does not appear to be a straight extension of the street to the right. The small island that runs out of the right-hand side of the photograph implies that there are at least two streets entering from the right, and there is probably another street at the photographer's back. We have, thus, five or maybe more streets intersecting here.

When the narrow streets enter such a complex intersection, the open space must of necessity expand to accommodate them, and this open space is an interesting contrast with the narrow streets just beyond. These are also areas where people will tend to congregate, if only because there is more sun in the open spaces than in the narrow streets.

These buildings show traditional German architecture at its best. They are eminently suited to an urban setting (except that the wood construction is a fire risk that we would not accept in new urban construction today). Each floor of the building to the right has a skirt that helps to keep water off the wall.

The buildings are highly varied but do not clash, and all of them have a large area of windows, much appreciated in the gray northern European climate.

Notice the "torch" support of the corner of the building on the right - the full weight of the corner is borne by a stout pillar on the corner, which flares out to support the protruding space above.

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Text ©2001-2002 J.Crawford