April 8, 2016

UNStudio Selected for Masterplan with Four New High-Rise Buildings for the Frankfurt Skyline

UNStudio, Frankfurt, Deutsche Bank Site. Image courtesy of UNStudio. 

Frankfurt has long stood out among major European cities, boasting what Americans might consider to be a proper skyline, befitting the most important financial center in the EU. As the home of the European Central Bank, which administers the Euro, the city of 700,000 boasts some of the most vertical architecture in continental Europe—including the top ten tallest in Germany—with Foster & Partners‘ Commerzbank Tower topping the list at 850 feet (259 meters). Now, with the announcement that Amsterdam-based UNStudio has won a competition to reinvent the Deutsche Bank site, Frankfurt’s central business district will see a radical transformation in the coming years, most notably with the construction of a 748-foot (228-meter) skyscraper across the street from the Foster icon, the tallest of the four towers in the winning proposal.

Sited at the corners of an open central square, the proposed high-rises vary significantly in both height and program, accounting for the dense urban context: the orientation and heights afford daylighting and sightlines, while the mixture of uses is intended to attract the public from dawn to dusk. Alongside two office towers, two residential buildings will add upwards of 600 new apartments to the financial district. The lower stories of all four structures connect to form a single mixed-use complex with restaurants and retail throughout as well as two hotels and a daycare center.

“The specific configuration of the building volumes and the open routes and squares all work together to spatially connect the Financial District, the inner city, and the eastern parts of the Bahnhofsviertel with a lively new urban center,” said UNStudio’s Ben van Berkel. “The former separation of these adjacent areas of the city is eradicated and a new and unique address is generated for residents, professionals, and visitors alike.”

The site is currently punctuated by a 305-foot (93-meter) toweran International Style office building from 1971amid a complex of mid-rise buildings that date back to the 50’s. Developer Groß & Partner GmbH completed the purchase of the site from Deutsche Bank in November 2015 and demolition is slated to begin next year once the bank has completed its move to its new campus down the block. The first tower is projected to be ready for occupancy as early as 2020.

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