Situated in the city centre of Frankfurt, between the town hall and the Main river, is the completely refurbished and newly extended Historical Museum Frankfurt. Kossmann.dejong designed three exhibitions – one temporary and two permanent – that highlight the many faces of Frankfurt. For the ‘Typically Frankfurt!’ exhibition, which connects the entrance with the new building, Kossmann.dejong designed a snow globe – one of the most ubiquitous tourist souvenirs – to start the museum experience. Inside the globe, visitors encounter eight clichéd representations of the city illustrated in eight different scenes built as scale models made by eight international artists. Visitors choose which cliché they would like to see and a specially-designed robot then transports the chosen scene up from the cellar.
Kossmann.dejong also designed the permanent exhibition ‘Frankfurt Now!’ at the third floor as a space for research, reflection and discussion. At the heart of the exhibition is the 75m²intricate, lively scale model of Frankfurt created by Rotterdam artist Herman Helle. The participatory project Stadtlabor [City Lab] forms part of ‘Frankfurt Now!’. Here the museum travels beyond its premises to research how residents experience Frankfurt, for example, through workshops, city walks and lectures. For the lab, Kossmann.dejong created a space, based on flexible accessories, for changing exhibitions and workshops. The themes and content are derived from meetings and discussions with residents. In the first temporary exhibition ‘Explore Frankfurt Now!’, Kossmann.dejong explains how the lab works. Residents and visitors are actively challenged to participate in the debate, and themselves become part of the Historical Museum Frankfurt, a museum about and engaged with the city.