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  COME VEDERE L'ARCHITETTURA CONTEMPORANEA HOW TO SEE CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE
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BUILDING
 
 
European Central Bank (ECB)
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DESIGNER
 
 
Coop Himmelb(l)au
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DESCRIPTION
 
Urbanism and architecture
Coop Himmelb(l)au European Central Bank FrankfurtThe location for the new headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt’s Ostend district has the potential of adding a new landmark to the Frankfurt skyline that will be visible at great distances. The starting point for the design of the towers was the urban perspectives of the city of Frankfurt.

Coop Himmelb(l)au European Central Bank FrankfurtAt a height of around 185 meters, the double tower, with its polygonal shape and east-west orientation, has a striking profile that is visible from all important reference points in Frankfurt’s city center, as well as from the river Main. Thanks to its form and presence, the double tower will become a characteristic feature of the Frankfurt skyline.
Urban planning and integration
Coop Himmelb(l)au European Central Bank FrankfurtThe imposing form of the Grossmarkthalle (wholesale market), which so strongly characterizes Frankfurt’s skyline and the north bank of the river Main, unites with the vertical profile of the towers to form a significant ensemble that considers both the local urban design environment and the general urban spatial context, thus creating a tension between Frankfurt’s banking district and the Ostend area. By concentrating the ECB’s functions in the Grossmarkthalle, the south side of the premises, facing the Main, can be largely kept free of construction. The prominent view of the south side of the hall from the Main embankment with the clearly visible profile of the high-rise emphasizes its special position.
The architectural concept of the tower
The tower ensemble is the result of a design process inspired by the urban links with the city of Frankfurt. Owing to its clear orientation towards the important urban perspectives, the ensemble enters into a dialogue with the important urban reference points in Frankfurt: the Alte Oper, the Museumsufer and the financial district.

Starting with the economical typology of a double-slab high-rise, a second design step combines the urban planning specifications with the geometric transformation of the towers, in order to generate a multi-faceted building structure while preserving its urban significance.
The vertical city
Coop Himmelb(l)au European Central Bank FrankfurtThe atrium between the office towers becomes a “vertical city”. Through platforms we are creating spaces, plazas and pathways between the towers, just as they exist in a city. The connecting and transferring levels divide the atrium horizontally into three sections of different sizes, with heights ranging from around 45 to 60 meters.

These connecting platforms, bridges, ramps and stairs form a network of links between the office towers. They create short paths between the individual office floors in each tower and thus enable larger, interconnected usable office spaces on one or more floors in both towers, thereby also promoting informal communication.

This new typology supports a dynamic development of form and enables differentiated office spaces with different panoramic perspectives.
The Grossmarkthalle – a forum for communication
Coop Himmelb(l)au European Central Bank FrankfurtOur design reinforces the Grossmarkthalle’s existing potential as an “urban foyer” housing a conference and visitor center, as well as a library and restaurant, through the incorporation of a building for the press center which traverses the structure of the Grossmarkthalle. This so-called entrance building, in which ECB press conferences will be held, occupies a special position in content, form and space and thereby marks the entrance to the ECB.

Since the western parts of the Grossmarkthalle were reconstructed after being destroyed during the Second World War and do not, therefore, represent part of the substance of the original building – even in the way they are constructed – we propose, as agreed with the historic preservation authority, that the incision for the new entrance to the ECB be in this part of the hall.

We continued to develop the concept of integrating the extensive functional areas into the Grossmarkthalle, as suggested during the Optimisation Phase. As before, the required new facilities are being placed in the spacious interior of the hall as independent building structures (the “house within a house” concept). The building structures, which are at diagonal angles to the Grossmarkthalle, allow the hall to be experienced along dynamic spatial sequences – and this not only in the public areas of the hall’s ground floor, but also on the upper levels, which, with their conference and restaurant facilities, are largely reserved for employees of the ECB. The restaurant structure, as a visible sign of the new functional areas in the hall, generously orients the employee restaurant and terrace towards the Main in the south.
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LOCATION
 
Continent
Europe
Nation
Germany [Deutschland]
Land
Hesse [Hessen]
District
Darmstadt
Town
Frankfurt am Main
Address
Eckhardtstraße, Eyssenstraße (Oskar-von-Miller-Straße)
 
 
Website
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MAP
 
 
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TYPOLOGY
 
ARCHITECTURE
Commercial buildings
Banks, securities exchanges and buildings for financial activity
Public buildings
Administration buildings
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CHRONOLOGY
 
Project
2003 - 2005     project winner of competition
Realisation
2010 - 2014
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AWARDS
 
2013
Hessische Kulturpreis
(Hessian Culture Prize)

The jury commented on the awarding:
"With the new European Central Bank, COOP HIMMELB(L)AU creates a new, modern landmark for Frankfurt"
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BIBILIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES
 
 
"Twenty-first century bank", Architecture Today 162, october 2005, pp. 30-51
Filippo Beltrami Gadola, "Coop Himmelb(l)au vince / ECB New Premises, Frankfurt am Main", L'Arca 192, maggio/may 2004, pp. 44-47 (44-55)
"Concours d'architecture. La Banque centrale europeenne (BCE), Francfort-sur-le-Main, Allemagne / Architecture competition. Central European Bank, Frankfurt, Germany", L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui 352, mai-juin/may-june 2004, pp. 78-89
Peter Cachola Schmal, "Kritisch betrachtet: Wettbewerb Europäische Zentralbank in Frankfurt / Main/Competition for the European Central Bank Headquarters in Frankfurt am Main: a critical view ", Detail 4/2004 [Bauen mit Licht / Building with Light / Costruire avec la lumière], pp. 318-319
Christian Brensing, "Banking on architecture. Architects of winning design: Coop Himmelblau", Architectural Review 1286, april 2004, pp. 30-31
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EXHIBITIONS
 
 
Coop Himmelb(l)au. Frankfurt Lyon Dalian, Frankfurt am Main (Germany), DAM Deutsches Architekturmuseum, 6 may / 23 august 2015
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CLIENT
 
 
European Central Bank (ECB), Frankfurt/M., Germany
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AMOUNT
 
 
€ 850.000.000
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DIMENSIONAL
DATA
 
Height
North Tower m. 185
South Tower m. 165
Spire m. 220

Grossmarkthall

Hall: m. 23.50
Office wings: ml. 32.50
Entrance building: ml. 27.50 (maximum)
Floors
North Tower 45
South Tower 43

Grossmarkthalle

Office wings 8
Surface
site sq.m. 120,000
gross floor sq.m. 185,000

floor space per offfice floor sq.m. 700/1,200 (one tower)

Grossmarkthall

Hall: sq.m. 11,000
Wing buildings: sq.m. 975
Dimensions
Grossmarkthall

Hall: m. 220 x 50
Wing buildings: m. 65 x 15
Widht
Atrium m. 18
Number
18 lifts

97 foundation piles
Depth
foundation piles maximum m. 37
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STRUCTURES
 
 
B+G Ingenieure, Bollinger und Grohmann GmbH, Frankfurt/M., Germany
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STAFF
 
Project
Coop Himmelb(l)au
Wolf D. Prix / W. Dreibholz & Partner ZT GmbH
Design concept
Wolf D. Prix
Partner
Frank Stepper
Project architect
Hartmut Hank
Design architects
Karin Miesenberger
Design team
Magdalena Baczkowska, Markus Baumann, Michael Beckert, Johannes Behrens, Hilde Benda, Marcelo Bernardi, Jan Brosch, Timo Carl, Jessie Castro Vélez, Eva Diem, Jasmin Dieterle, Sabrina Dlugosch, Marcus Ehrhardt, Jan Ruben Fischer, Brigitte Fuchs, Sergio Gonzales, Gesine Görlich, Guthu Hallstein, Sebastian Haffner, Simone Hainz, Sascha Hempel, Rob Henderson, Emanuele Iacono, Martin Jelinek, Ivana Jug, Frank Pascal Kaul, Matt Kirkham, Daniela Kröhnert, Bernward Krone, Quirin Krumbholz, Anke Lammert, Monika Lyzyczka, Steven M, Christian Maeder, Dimitra Mamou, Ariane Marx, Christoph Maurer, Matthias Niemeyer, Martin Oberascher, Eric Ross Olson, Renate Ott, Gerhard Pfeiler, Ellen Pietrzyk, James Pike, Robert Pippan, Jakob Przybylo, Anna Ptaszynska, Stephanie Rathgeber, Carmen Renz, Salomè Reeves, Donna Riedel, Akvile Rimantaite, Simon Röpke, Pete Rose, Penelope Rüttimann, Stefan Rutzinger, Oliver Sachse, Kristina Schinegger, Benjamin Schmidt, Marita Schnepper, Eckart Schwerdtfeger, Dieter Segerer, Thomas Siegl, Ebru Simsek, Denise Sokolowski, Augustin Solorzano, Anja Sorger, Ernst Stockinger, Jürgen Tiltmann, Markus Tritthart, Josef Tröster, Günther Weber, Andreas Weissenbach, Judith Werkhäuser, Markus Wings, Eva Wolf, Giuseppe Zagaria, Barbara Zeleny, Thomas Zengger

Fabien Barthelemey, Oliver Cassik, Alejandro Corena, Alexander Daxböck, Mario Dignöss, Helmut Frötscher, Martin Gruber, Annegret Haider, Christian Halm, Roland Höntzsch, Gregor Kassl, Gernot Köfer, Alexander Laber, Anita Lischka, Rangel Malinov, Oliver Martinz, Philipp Munz, Barbara Roller, Nicole Rumpler, Wolfgang Ruthensteiner, Stefan Salchinger, Stefan Schadenböck, Thomas Schwed, Hannes Schwed, Claudiu Cristian Silvestru, Sylvia Spernbauer, Christoph Treberspurg, Johannes Weigl, Bernhard Wolf
Plastic models, rendering
Filip Adamczak, Apostoi Rodica, Anna Balint, Mark Balzar, Oliver Berger, Nico Boyer, Robert Campell, Julian Chiellino, Ariane Dehghan, Guido Ebbert, Heike Folie, Emilia Grzadzielewska, Benjamin Hahn, Laura Hannappel, Thomas Hindelang, Michael Hirschbichler, Ulrich Hoke, Rafal Jedlinski, Malte Kaiser, Reyhan Kargi, Vera Kleesattel, Stefan Kotzenmacher, Daniel Kuhnert, Gretha Kuustra, Malgorzata Labecka, Jelena Lazic, Jund Wook Lee, Marta Leszczynska, Jörg Lonkwitz, Rita Lopez, Bruno Mock, Sarah Müller, Yusuke Nishimura, Seoug O, Ulrich Peintner, Fabian Peitzmeier, Anna Ptaszynska, Jois Rashmi, Danuta Ratka, Thomas Stock, Matthew Tam, Kadri Tamre, Philipp Trumpke, Andreas Wachter, Charlotte Weyher, Angelika Wiegand, Melanie Wohlrab

3D visualization: Armin Hess (Vienna)
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ANNOTATIONS
 
 
COMPETITION

Winner
Coop Himmelb(l)au

Second Place
ASP Schweger Assoziierte

Third Place
54f Architekten und Ingenieure/T.R. Hamzah & Yeang

Shortlisted for the 2nd phase
Barkow Leibinger Architekten
Estudio Lamela
Frank O. Gehry Associates
KHRAS
E. Miralles B. Tagliabue
Morphosis
Murphy/Jahn
Schneider+Schumacher
Tp Bennet

Partecipants
3XNielsen
ABB Architekten
Allan Murray Architects
Albert Speer & Partner
Paul Andreu Architecte/ADP Ingéniere
Arup Associates
Baumschlager-Eberle/Itten+Brechbühl
Behnisch, Behnisch & Partner
Benthem Crouwel
Bolles + Wilson
BRT Bothe Richter Teherani
Bucholz/McEvoy Architects
de architectongroep
de Architekten Cie
Dissing+Weitling arkitektfirma
EEA Erik van Egeraat
Friis & Moltke / Bystrup Arkitekter
GMP - von Gerkan, Marg und Partner
Gössler/Haberland Architekten
Grüntuch/Ernst Architekten
Hascher Jehle Architektur
Heinle, Wischer und Partner
Helin & Co. Architects
Herzog+Partner
HPP Hentrich-Petschnigg & Partner
IaN+
Jakob + McFarlane
Jourdan & Müller PAS
K+P Architekten u. Stadtplaner
KSP Engel und Zimmermann
Kengo Kuma & Associates
Leeser architecture
Llewelyn-Davies
LOVE
Maki and Associates
Mecanoo Architects
Meyer en Van Schooten Architecten
Neumann & Steiner
Neutelings Riedijk Architecten
NOX
OMA
Ortner & Ortner Baukunst
Dominique Perrault
Boris Podrecca
Pysall-Ruge Architekten
RHWL Architects
RKW Architektur + Städtebau & Co.
Rocco Design
Samyn and Partners
SIAT
Skidmore, Owings & merrill / NHT + Partner
Sam Stephenson / Traynor O'Toole
United Architects / UNStudio
Studio Valle Progettazioni
Valode et Pistre
van den Valentyn
Vasconi Associés Architects
VIIVA arkkitehtuuri
Rafael Viñoly Architects
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CREDITS
 
 
Photos © Coop Himmelb(l)au
Drawings © Coop Himmelb(l)au
Render © ISOCHROM.com, Vienna
Text edited by Coop Himmelb(l)au
Courtesy by Coop Himmelb(l)au

Coop Himmelb(l)au European Central Bank Frankfurt



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