A shop window on Frankfurt’s Römer
by Martina Metzner | Aug 28, 2013

A large, empty, white window on Frankfurt’s Römerberg frames the view of the city and announces the event, many days before the actual opening: For the sixth time, furniture manufacturer “Vitra” has invited architects from the RhineMain region to use its Showroom as a creative platform for an “Ampelphase” exhibition – the preview is on September 5. The planners at Frankfurt’s “CMA” and “Stefan Forster Architekten”, “Sander Hofrichter” from Ludwigshafen, “Netzwerkarchitekten” from Darmstadt and at Wetzlar’s “Jung & Klemke” each decided quite individually how to tackle this year’s motto: “Einblicke, Ausblicke” (Insights, Views Outwards).

The idea behind “Ampelphase” has always been to delight car drivers who have to stop at the lights directly outside the Vitra Showroom – by offering more than the usual shop-window interiors. And so it is that once a year and always in September, all the furniture is banished from the premises and replaced by installations. In this way, the Showroom morphs into a temporary gallery where the architects address the different themes. The “Ampelphase” has long since become a fixed date in Frankfurt’s cultural diary.

As regards the “shop window” on the Römerberg and thus in the heart of the city, the brains behind it (CMA’s Andreas Moser and project partner Jue Löffelholz) say they “did not want to be locked up in a shop window”. So they built a copy of the Vitra Showroom’s windows, and it is now going on a walkabout through Frankfurt like some large passepartout, offering quite unique insights into and views of the city. Meaning “Ampelphase” is now for the first time extracting itself from its traditional location and gleaming downtown, too. Of course you can look forward to stopping at the lights on Gutleutstrasse and gazing at the Showroom’s windows. However, in order to see it all you’ve have to drive round the block quite a few times and hope to end up on red on each occasion.

Ampelphase 6: Einblicke/Ausblicke
Vitra Showroom
Gutleutstrasse 89, 60329 Frankfurt/Main, Germany
September 5- 25, 2013

Frame“ by Andreas Moser (CMA, Frankfurt) and Jue Löffelholz (on the picture right ) – the first installation, which is located outside the showroom at Frankfurt’s Römer. Photo © Jue Löffelholz

Small man, big man? The architect class of Frankfurt-based Staedelschule plays with the optical perception of the pedestrians. Photo © Gezim Bono, Städelschule

Please take a seat – Jung & Klemke from Wetzlar invite us to sit on a scaffolding and to take new “point of views”. Photo © Jung & Klemke

„200 μ“ is the contribution by Netzwerkarchitekten from Darmstadt and simulate a floating body through staggered plastic layers. Photo © Netzwerkarchitekten

An invitation to draft with pencil and paper is the installation by Sander Hofrichter from Ludwigshafen, who presents a table to sit and draw on. Photo © Sander Hofrichter

The mini-house by Martynas Kubilius from Stefan Forster Architekten offers a little escape aside from the hectical inner city life. Photos © Martina Metzner, Stylepark/Stefan Forster Architekten

Sketches by Sander Hofrichter fromLudwigshafen. Photo © Sander Hofrichter