Bad Homburg v.d. Höhe, July 12, 2022 – Roughly a year after presentation of the plans for rebuilding the Villa Victoria as the new headquarters for Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung (EKFS), demolition of the annexes from 1954 and 1979 has begun. In addition, application planning for new construction and conversion has been completed and the building permit applied for from the City of Bad Homburg.
A new administration building is going to arise for the foundation whose staff has grown sharply in recent years – using the old villa and its façade dating back to 1903 along with a modern annex. The house is going to be centered around a staircase illuminated by a rooftop skylight. This focal point is designed as area to meet and communicate the foundation’s work.
“We are relieved that it’s getting going now,” says Prof. Dr. Michael Madeja, Chairman of the Management Board at EKFS. Many things have taken longer because the structure of the Villa Victoria proved to be in disastrous condition. “Built with the intention to save on costs, above all the inner walls were readily decaying and interventions as of 1954 have damaged the structure so badly that over 90 percent of the inner walls alone are no longer able to bear weight.” All of the plaster was removed from the walls over the past months to reach this assessment. The findings regarding the building fabric ultimately made it mandatory to have the plans drawn up by the architectural bureau schneider+schumacher revised several times.
The concept applied for now envisages replacing the inner walls and ceilings with modern construction materials at the same sites and with the same shapes as before so that the building’s interior receives a new load-bearing construction design which also stabilizes the outer walls. “We value the very constructive work together with the City of Bad Homburg and the State Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments, and hope that the building permit is approved soon,” emphasizes Prof. Dr. Madeja.
The unexpected also cropped up while preparing the old Villa Victoria annexes for demolition: The presence of asbestos was verified at numerous places. This made a complex and costly asbestos removal necessary, primarily in the bathroom area. “That all kinds of damage might be present in an old house is only natural, but the extent and the exposure to harmful substances which came about so severely through modernizations and the annexes from 1954 and 1979 were quite a surprise to us.”
The foundation has not given up on the schedule to move in at the end of 2023 yet and hopes that there will be no further delays now. “What worries me more than the changed plan is the war in Ukraine, because construction cost development on the one hand, and keeping to delivery dates on the other, can no longer be estimated.”
Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung (EKFS) – Advancing research. Helping people.
Else Kröner-Fresenius-Stiftung is a non-profit foundation dedicated to the funding and advancement of medical research and the support of humanitarian projects. To date the foundation has funded around 2,300 projects. With an annual funding volume currently amounting to over 60 million euros it is the largest foundation in Germany that actively funds and supports medicine. You can find more information at: http://www.ekfs.de/en
Tel.: + 49 6172 8975-24