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2005 | Book

The New Premises of the European Central Bank/Der Neubau der Europäischen Zentralbank

International Architectural Competition / Internationaler Architekturwettbewerb

Editors: Peter Cachola Schmal, Ingeborg Flagge

Publisher: Birkhäuser Basel

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Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Introduction to the International Urban Planning and Architectural Design Competition for the New ECB Premises

Introduction to the International Urban Planning and Architectural Design Competition for the New ECB Premises

In November 2002 the ECB announced the urban planning and architectural design competition for the new ECB premises in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. It was launched as a restricted project competition in two phases preceded by the preselection of 80 qualified applicants and possibly to be followed by an optional revision phase.

Successful Search for a Common Architectural Culture

Successful Search for a Common Architectural Culture

The issue of architecture and urban development is no longer one that can be addressed with certainty. Technological progress — including in the construction sector — the globalisation of our economy and trade, greater information access — all of these factors, weighed against the need for a sustainable development of our way of life — raise questions about quite a few of our habits, prejudices and stereotypes.

Françoise-Hélène Jourda

Of Axes, Nets and Angles. The Three Winning Design Proposals and Their Urbanistic Significance

Of Axes, Nets and Angles. The Three Winning Design Proposals and Their Urbanistic Significance

Evidently, it was always going to be a high-rise project. At any rate, this is what the competition results seem to suggest. None of the entries took up the idea of integrating the Grossmarkthalle as a dominant element in an urban quarter (with a square in front of each end wing), as Martin Elsaesser is said to have envisaged at the time. The apparent uniformity of the competition results is deceptive, however. The three designs chosen by the jury in the second phase of the competition could not be more different. Three elements — the Grossmarkthalle, the Ostend and the skyline — were, in urban planning terms, either to be respected, ignored, or deliberately thwarted by these conceptualisations.

Matthias Alexander

The Competition Architecture

The Competition Architecture

“Such a strong international resonance must have reminded the jury of an equally Herculean selection effort for the Reichstag and Potsdamer Platz redevelopments exactly a decade ago. But it also presented an intriguing opportunity to evaluate a broad cross-section of the best current international architecture.”

Peter Cachola Schmal

The 71 Design Proposals of the First Phase

Frontmatter
3Xnielsen A/S
Århus, Denmark

“The new building is a striking — but welcoming — landmark. It comprises a series of interwoven ellipses. These symbolise individuality and unity — while at the same time forming inspiring and efficient spatial enclosures for the functions within.”

54F Architekten+Ingenieure
Darmstadt, Germany

“High-rise-cluster: A vis-à-vis to the town centre and its high-rises is achieved by the formation of several high-rises: a counterpole to the bank high-rises. Thus the ECB supplements the skyline and enriches the existing city shape.”

T. R. Hamzah, Yeang Sdn
ABB Architekten
Frankfurt/Main, Germany

“Creating of a central entrance zone with direct link to the office tower in the South and the growth modules in the North, short ways to all facilities inside and outside the hall.”

Allan Murray Architects
Edinburgh, UK

“We propose an artistic construct which weaves together the lines of force which go across and through the site. ...The ‘Great Hall’ is the heart of the building: an enclosed forum, agora or meeting square.”

Architekten Gössler Berlin, Germany Haberland Architekten BDA Berlin, Germany

“The proposed concept for the building involves stacking the towers of the ECB on a long plinth in much the same manner that containers are stacked on the deck of a modern freight ship. The footprint of the existing Grossmarkthalle is exactly replicated by that of the new building. Through this doubling of the plan dimensions, a new integrated whole is created.”

Arup Associates
London, UK

“The new ECB slab faces the city of towers in Frankfurt as a thin blade of glass, but faces the River Main as a large window revealing the varied activities within the bank. The idea of the new ECB is to arrange the functional requirements on an ordered plan, which is then flipped up to form a vertical city slab.”

ASP Schweger Assoziierte Gesamtplanung GmbH
Berlin, Germany

“The separate towers...are connected through a shared entrance plaza and the ‘skybridge,’ which houses the conference and restaurant area. As the possibility of distance and approach is an important element in the social attitude of humans, why not create a space of freedom at a unique place?”

AS&P Albert Speer & Partner GmbH
Frankfurt/Main, Germany

“An architectural frame for growth and change... ‘Bankscape’ is how we interpret the complexity of the huge building programme. ...The main characteristics are a carefully conceived ensemble of similar building types of different heights. ‘Talking towers’ is used as a synonym for communication. ...‘Unified variety’ will be achieved by a base structure that relates the reorganised Grossmarkthalle with the five towers.”

Barkow Leibinger Architekten
Berlin, Germany

“A compact vertical office tower is bound to the Grossmarkthalle, which serves as an entrance threshold. This combined building form is woven together to provide a distinct building for the bank.”

Baumschlager-Eberle Ziviltechniker GmbH Lochau, Austria Itten+BrechbÜhl AG Bern, Switzerland

“The new premises for the European Central Bank are conceived as a contemporary interpretation of a castle fortification protected by water. Berms and moats protect the building complex from the lingering danger of the area. The berm acts as primary boundary whose edge is softened with the planting of irises, while the moat acts as secondary boundary and surrounds all the buildings.”

Behnisch, Behnisch & Partner
Stuttgart, Germany

“We propose an unusual building form which develops freely and which is able to accommodate all the required functions of the ECB under one roof. The form of the building is in no way related to that of the Grossmarkthalle, avoiding any kind of concurrence or attempts to place either building in the foreground or background.”

Benthem Crouwel Architekten BV Bna
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

“No isolated fortress — Yes contextual sensibility. No monofunctional status symbol — Yes interactive community. No stand-alone high-rise monument — Yes reuse of historical zoning structure. No rigid fixed solution — Yes future flexibility. No private — Yes public.”

Bolles+Wilson Gmbh & Co. KG
MÜnster, Germany

“Concept = Grossmarkthalle... Not to compromise but to iterate the clarity and scale of the Grossmarkthalle as mega-object landed in the surrounding urban fabric. Two iterations of the Grossmarkthalle merge with the cleared and landscaped groundplane, the third hovers above, incredibly, dramatically - a landmark and counterpoint to Frankfurt downtown towers.”

Bothe Richter Teherani Architekten BDA
Hamburg, Germany

“The new landmark is an elevated platform floating above the green belt. ...The flexible modular structure enables communication and short connections within a horizontal hierarchy, open for future expansion. ...For acoustic, climatic and security reasons the building is contained within a glass skin.”

Bucholz I Mcevoy Architects Ltd.
Dublin, Ireland

“Office building thinness: the new office building is organised along a central atrium ‘lung’ which acts as the principle vertical circulation space, communicative space, and ventilates all of the office space.”

Coop Himmelb(L)Au
Vienna, Austria

“Starting from a research base of urban sightlines and cones of vision, we propose a double slab tower with a polygonal/amorphous form in the East-West orientation. The narrow side of the tower profile is a solitary figure seen from all of the important views. ...The horizontal body of the ‘groundscraper’ contrasts the verticality of the tower and is simultaneously the urban/functional connection between the Grossmarkthalle and the local urban context. ...Sculptural transformations of torsion and bending applied to an economical slab high-rise typology.”

De Architectengroep Amsterdam, The Netherlands Bureau B+B Stedebouw En Landschapsarchitectuur Amsterdam, The Netherlands

“The expressive form of the Grossmarkthalle is offset by a series of equally bold glass volumes, which together form the working and meeting areas of the complex. The different parts of the working programme are forged together into one articulate composite volume.”

De Architekten Cie.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

“Three vertical elements are inspired by Constantin Brancusi’s ‘endless column,’ the greatest visual metaphor for the transformation of cultural heritage into modern form. ...Inspiration for the outer surface has been found in Isamu Noguchi’s work with lighting. The traditional Japanese architectural material, paper, has been transformed into a double translucent membrane, allowing both light and sound to permeate.”

Dissing+Weitling Arkitektfirma A/S
Copenhagen, Denmark

“The new ECB is built up of three principal architectural elements; a landscaped ‘Base,’ the ‘Forum’ (Grossmarkthalle) and the ‘Towers’.”

Dominique Perrault Architecte
Paris, France

“The ECB tower: its striking profile on the Frankfurt skyline creates a recognisable landmark, moving and changing, different from all sides... Its composition of independent and unique blocks, united in perfect equilibrium...”

Eea — Erick Van Egeraat Associated Architects
London, UK

“Appearance: presenting a traditional and contemporary outlook. Form: the new building volume separates and complements the Grossmarkthalle... Multiplicity: a multi-facade treatment to represent the multi-national occupancy.”

Enric Miralles Benedetta Tagliabue Embt Arquitectes Associats SL
Barcelona, Spain

“The bank as a market place. The building is a landscape. The project completes the green belt connecting countryside, city and river. The centres of the buildings are oriented to the new internal garden and the river.”

Estudio Lamela Arquitectos
Madrid, Spain

“The predominant horizontality of the new building contrasts with the image of the skyscraper. ...The building is presented as a vast volume with simple and recognisable geometry. It avoids any clear scale or rhythm on the facade, abstracting its architectural language and contrasting with the Grossmarkthalle, presenting itself as a unitary element instead of programmatically segregated and fragmented architecture.”

Friis & Moltke A/S Brabrand, Denmark Bystrup Arkitekter Copenhagen, Denmark Schønherr Landskab Århus, Denmark

“The new form embraces the old, lifts it, and fills it with significance even, in union with the drama of the Grossmarkthalle — like a hand given something to grasp. These two forms, the old, horizontally-oriented and architecturally valuable, and the young, flexible, highly organic and vertical, enter into an intense interplay and become organised into a single, fine structure, a single sign — a line that is supported and half enclosed by an underlying arch.”

Gehry Partners, LLP
Los Angeles, CA, USA

“The architectural concept originates from the Grossmarkthalle. The historical building is treated as a found object in the centre of the composition, framed by water retention ponds and large transparent glass roofs that gently slope towards it. ...The Grossmarkthalle is surrounded by office buildings and social facilities to the South, the Congress Hall and the future office growth module to the North. The office complex is formed of lowrise buildings on which stand three mid-rise office towers.”

GMP — Von Gerkan, Marg und Partner, Architects
Hamburg, Germany

“The ECB is a European house reflecting the values for which it stands: transparency, integrity, excellence, efficiency. ...an architectural ensemble joining tradition and technology.”

Grüntuch / Ernst Architekten Bda
Berlin, Germany

“The building is not a solitaire, but an ensemble of elements that form a significant silhouette. ...The buildings and the activity within the ECB communicate physical phenomenons of eruptions and shooting spouts emerging from more than one source of energy, representing the cultural diversity of the people cooperating.”

Hascher Jehle Architektur
Berlin, Germany

“The flowing lines of the new, elegant office environment on the Main side embody the dynamics of the decision-making processes...which take place throughout the structure. In the middle of this vibrant office environment, the new main structure is anchored with weight and mass. The soaring large-scale form resembles the huge calyx of a thriving flower shooting upwards. A symbol of a common, prosperous future.”

Heinle, Wischer und Partner Freie Architekten GBR
Stuttgart, Germany

“Philosophy building interpretation: transparency / tower / no core no wall / common values / base / all together service interactive.”

Helin & Co Architects
Helsinki, Finland

“A carefully designed composition including two dominant towers, creating a visual image and a basis for a functionally efficient layout.”

Herzog + Partner
Munich, Germany

“The base construction recapitulates the consecutive security levels of the building complex. High security areas are situated in the centre. Functions of lower security demands are at the perimeter. They allow public interaction and signify transparency and openness of the ECB.”

HPP Hentrich-Petschnigg & Partner KG
Düsseldorf, Germany

“The protected monument Grossmarkthalle is integrated within the building concept. An expressive special form acts as a symbol in representing the exceptional position of the ECB institution.”

Ian+
Rome, Italy

“The main building, located on the riverside, is a composition of two thin structures, separated by a central void, visually connected to the city in a dynamic way.”

Jakob + Macfarlane Sarl D’Architecture
Paris, France

“Our proposition is to create an architecture at this site taking inspiration from the elements we could find, extract, interpolate using the physical site, its history, and its programme. ...We decided to make the new architecture become almost part of this site and not be another object parachuted into the city. To avoid this, we propose to make the new architectural intervention create a continuous building and landscape combination.”

Jourdan & Müller Pas
Frankfurt/Main, Germany

“An assembled shape of different bodies echoes the multiplicity of the member’s identities. Not a monolith, not a gigantic super-symbol but a complex composition, a cluster comprising different volumes: lying — flying — rising, reaching in different directions while focusing on an inner rotation within an overall formation of ‘bodies in balance’.”

Kengo Kuma & Associates
Tokyo, Japan

“The newly added building will have the necessary floor areas layered one on top of the other, and slanted to the North at a 30-degree angle as if being moored to the Grossmarkthalle. The design juxtaposes the two volumes in a mutually dependent form. The form thus created strongly resembles the Chinese character hito. ...[It] means ‘human being,’ and can be traced back to a pictogram of two people standing side by side and supporting each other.”

Khr Arkitekter As
Virum, Denmark

“The bank is layouted as a unifying transparent roof structure, a counterpoise to the strong financial district in the West. The roof structure is the icon of the assembled Europe. It will act as an envelope and give a new facade towards Sonnemannstrasse. Transparency versus the river and the sky is the key word.”

K+P Architekten und Stadtplaner Gmbh Koch Drohn Schneider Voigt
Munich, Germany

“The dynamic lines of the new structure, accentuated by the rising and falling movement of its low-rise, fan-shaped, rotated layout, accentuate the visual interplay between old and new as well as the symbolic importance of tradition and progress. Through a combination of high points...and low points, fascinating views into and out of the building are achieved.”

Ksp Engel und Zimmermann Architekten
Frankfurt/Main, Germany

“The city layout of the Ostend will be completed along the Sonnemannstrasse by a group of buildings ...thus emphasising the entrance situation for the ECB. The Grossmarkthalle will be freed as a solitary object within the block, and be made visible in its entire length from the street, through gaps between the single building flights.”

Leeser Architecture
Brooklyn, NY, USA

“The new ECB premises is conceived of as a horizontal skyscraper. ...Unlike the self-contained autonomy of a vertical skyscraper, this horizontality better serves the circulation and security of the ECB premises, and provides an iconographic presence of the ECB by its juxtaposition with the vertical Frankfurt skyline.”

Llewelyn-Davies Ltd
London, UK

The Grossmarkthalle serves as the base for a nine-storey, 91m-high building shaped like a box with all kinds of attachments such as balconies, steel sheeting and conservatories.

Love Architecture and Urbanism Ziviltechniker Ges.M.B.H.
Graz, Austria

“The new ECB consists of three parts: Grossmarkthalle, Office Tower and Landscape Hill.”

Maki and Associates
Tokyo, Japan

“Transparent and ephemeral qualities contrasted against the opacity of the Grossmarkthalle. The waterfall is used as the image for the tower; the iceberg for the low East Wing block.”

Mecanoo Architecten
Delft, the Netherlands

“The new horizontal building will be placed on top of the Grossmarkthalle, separated by a 20m-high horizontal void. ...The new ECB building expresses itself as a compact and autonomous building.”

Meyer En Van Schooten Architecten Bv Amsterdam, the Netherlands Arcadis Bouw En Vastgoed Bv the Hague, the Netherlands

“The vision for the new premises embodies that of the ECB as a living and growing organism that is rooted in and grows out of history. From there a new outward-looking network is formed that is able to grow and adapt to harmoniously absorb new entities. Despite fully integrating into the organism, the entities still retain their own identities.”

Morphosis
Santa Monica, CA, USA

“This scheme is not about a single monolithic entity, but about a campus of integrated pieces that mediate between the autonomy and privacy of the ECB as an institution and its connectedness to the social and cultural fabric of the city via the parklands. It involves the creation of a complex of buildings and interstitial spaces that are resolved through the mediation of landscape so that the final design has a sense of inextricability from the urban fabric of Frankfurt.”

Murphy / Jahn, Inc.
Chicago, IL, USA

“The proposed building is of a strong, visible identity for the ECB and of a scale which can compete with the existing Grossmarkthalle. It reaches out over the Grossmarkthalle to the city in the North and to the South over the riverside park to the River Main.”

Neumann + Steiner
Vienna, Austria

“Dominance in the Frankfurt skyline: the floating office of the ECB takes on the horizontality of the river basin and the Grossmarkthalle, asserting itself in dialogue with the Frankfurt skyline. ...The Grossmarkthalle, which is to be thermally renovated, will be wrapped in a glass skin and glass roof.”

Neutelings Riedijk Architecten
Rotterdam, The Netherlands

“Programme: a vertical city. The programme is layered in a vertical stacking of 40 storeys. Communal facilities are on the lower floors, special units in the towers. An open plan and several stay (recreational) lobbies give light and splendid views.”

Nox
Rotterdam, The Netherlands

“To design an architecture with a contemporary monumentality: a strong expression of wholeness and plurality at the same time. For this we developed a design strategy that can absorb the old, but also extend the old to become new and innovative.”

Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA)
Rotterdam, The Netherlands

“The ECB will suddenly find itself in full limelight. The new ECB building will be a monument, if only because of the expectations it invokes.”

Ortner & Ortner Baukunst
Berlin, Germany

“The model draws its inspiration from the Greek agora and the Roman forum: together with the existing Grossmarkthalle, individual building types and buildings with unique characteristics constitute an ensemble loosely grouped around a square. Slightly raised above city level by a plinth in the South and a water basin in the North, the ensemble appears to be set out on a plateau: the model ECB.”

Paul Andreu Architecte Paris, France Adp.I Architectes & Ingenieurs Paris, France

The new premises consist of three high-rises linked by striking articulated joints, located to the South of the Grossmarkthalle, and connected to the latter via a bridge.

Prof. Boris Podrecca
Vienna, Austria

“Implementation of a ‘heterotype’ skyline as an outstanding landmark between riverbank and metropolitan urban modules: typological image of a structure in progress, statue-like and emblematic, yet at the same time animated and open (in contrast to the freestanding Frankfurt high-rise buildings).”

Pysall. Ruge Architekten
Berlin, Germany

“The Grossmarkthalle is the base for the new building. ...The new building mirrors the old building vertically on the line of the horizon. ...Various vertical voids flow through the suprastructure.”

Rafael Viñoly Architects, PC
New York, NY, USA

“Clear site, keep historic building: extend low-rise 15m-wide floor plate office blocks out from the historic building, while transforming it into the communicator and social heart of the building. ...Wrap entire building with efficient, transparent thermal envelope, reducing both total building envelope area and subsequent energy transfer through envelope.”

Rhwl Architects
London, UK

“The secured office space is located in what can be seen as a horizontal tower. A pair of floating glass beams, raised above the Grossmarkthalle span from endblock to endblock.”

Rkw Rhode Kellermann Wawrowsky Architektur + StÄdtebau
Düsseldorf, Germany

“The dynamic bridge structure is a symbol of the new integrated ECB.”

Rocco Design Limited
Hong Kong, China

“The main idea is that the wrapping of the new buildings around the end of the Grossmarkthalle allows for its major frontage to remain open from obstruction and thus can be viewed from both the street side and the river. The wrap is of a similar scale to the existing building and is intended to give a balanced harmony between the two. ...The towers denote the major entrance to the Bank.”

Samyn and Partners Sprl
Brussels, Belgium

“L-shaped horizontal and vertical European village: an integrated, dynamic complex, consisting of a base and a tower, both provided with atria distributed at regular intervals. Office entities, two to six floors high, group around the atriums, also functioning as meeting places.”

Schneider + Schumacher Architekturgesellschaft MBH
Frankfurt/Main, Germany

“The new ECB building balances the historic landmark of the Grossmarkthalle, acting as an architectural counterweight. At the same time it forms a characteristic landmark which once may become an icon, known and associated with this institution all over the world — the ‘new home’ of the ECB. ...The building’s transparency and openness are significant characteristics.”

Siat Gmbh
Munich, Germany

“Three Components: The composition arises through a correspondence of the individual elements in terms of content, form and significance: the Grossmarkthalle as a partly ‘open market place’ in the centre is the meeting point between the ECB and the public; the structure platform acts as ‘serving element’ and distributor, the high-rise buildings as ‘workplace’ in a rather reserved area.”

Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP New York, NY, USA NHT + Partner Architekten BDA Frankfurt/Main, Germany

“The ECB building is a transparent, luminous glass shell that incorporates the historic Grossmarkthalle and new office structures. The architecture and integrated landscape create a unified and flexible whole, which combines old and new.”

Stephenson Associates Dublin, Ireland Traynor O’toole Partnership Dublin, Ireland

“We found approximately half of the required accommodation of 50,000m2 could be accommodated in the Grossmarkthalle alone by inserting five floors inside the existing structure. The plan of the Grossmarkthalle has been divided into four office units each approximately 49 × 45m and five storeys in height. ...The remainder of the accommodation would be housed in a terraced two-storey complex stretching towards the South and the river.”

Studio Valle Progettazioni SRL
Rome, Italy

“The formal urban organisational generator for the new ECB premises has been found in the identification of a visual and functional urban-scaled axis.”

TP Bennett Architecture
London, UK

“Our proposal is founded upon a unifying framework representing the community and its future growth, stabilised by the ECB. This framework inspires our design, with the influence of the ECB symbolised by the unifying impact of the Grossmarkthalle on the overall scheme.”

UN Studio, Van Berkel + BOS, BV Amsterdam, The Netherlands Greg Lynn Form Venice, CA, USA Kevin Kennon Architect New York, NY, USA

“The core ECB activities are housed on the riverfront in a new office tower typology that is both centrally and vertically organised. The landmark design is instantly recognisable as a collective unified space due to its spherical massing. It symbolises communication and exchange with both the open multi-storey atrium gardens on its perimeter and its voided centre across which there is unprecedented literal and visual communication between office plates. The sphere, with a diameter of 120m and a height of 100m, has 30 office layers.”

Valode & Pistre Architectes
Paris, France

A glass box rising up 110m is positioned over the Grossmarkthalle as a base. It accommodates an office building and hanging gardens.

Van den Valentyn — Architektur
Cologne, Germany

“On considering the adequate building height we realised that the possible height of 150m mentioned in the tender is too low in the face of the dimensions of the Grossmarkthalle, the building’s proportions and the significance of the institution. It appears to us that a height of approximately 200m for this location would meet ideal proportions.”

Vasconi Associes Architectes
Paris, France

“...our project does not affirm any tower, but moderate high-rise buildings (15 to 16 levels) that punctuate, giving rhythm to the banks of the River Main. It is the connection between the banks of the river that reinforces and reaffirms this dialogue.”

Viiva Arkkitehtuuri
Turku, Finland

“The symmetry of the building is enhanced by the internal spatial layout, the symmetrical location of the foreyard structures and the monumental new building volumes, located in a clearly defined sequence at the South end of the lot in place of the razed ‘Importhalle’.”

The Twelve Design Proposals of the Second Phase

Frontmatter
54F Architekten+Ingenieure Darmstadt, Germany T. R. Hamzah & Yeang SDN. BHD. International Ampang Selangor, Malaysia

“A vis-à-vis to the town centre and its high-rises is achieved by the formation of several high-rises: with a counterpole to the Bank high-rises, the ECB thus is supplemental to the skyline and enriches the existing city shape.” The project submitted to the second phase is a refinement of the project of the first phase, with the height of the tallest tower having increased by 15m.

ASP Schweger Assoziierte Gesamtplanung GmbH
Berlin, Germany

“Subject: Create a unique building inside this area as a symbol and an integrative part of the city. ...The symbol transmits to the same extent the variety and the unity of Europe.” The project submitted to the second phase is a refinement of the project of the first phase.

Barkow Leibinger Architekten
Berlin, Germany

“A compact vertical office slab is bound to the Grossmarkthalle, which serves as an entrance threshold. This combined building form is woven together to provide a distinct building for the bank and community. The remaining site is given over to landscape infrastructure facilitating security.” By extending the new building to the West, compared with the first phase the overall height of the edifice has been reduced by 10m to 117.5m. It stands out for vertical openings and horizontal recessed niches. “Each open-air space orients to host countries geographical location.”

Coop Himmelb(L)AU
Vienna, Austria

“Starting from a research base of urban sightlines and cones of vision, we propose a double-slab tower with a polygonal form in the East-West orientation. The narrow side of the tower profile is a solitary figure seen from all of the important views of downtown Frankfurt...and along the River Main. Its form and presence becomes an unmistakable fixed point in the Frankfurt skyline. ...In a change from our first proposal we have developed a horizontal structure...parallel to the existing Grossmarkthalle, which maintains its solitary presence on the site. On the local urban context the double horizontal structures connect with the vertical diagonal cut of the atrium of the towers, thus creating a vertical city and connecting the ECB with the larger urban network of the Frankfurt skyline.”

Enric Miralles Benedetta Tagliabue Embt Arquitectes Associats SL
Barcelona, Spain

“The Bank as a market place. The building is a landscape. ...The new building is formed by a series of buildings. Its windows have a dialogue with the ones of the Grossmarkthalle of Martin Elsaesser...and with the downtown close by. ...In the second phase of the competition, we studied the volumes of the pavilions in relation to the garden and to the Grossmarkthalle.” The plans call for three V-shaped buildings up to 53m in height, which are grouped around an internal garden section on the grounds to the South-East of the Grossmarkthalle. The new structures rise up from a three-storey base building that is sunk into the undulating riverbank. In comparison with the first phase of the competition the height of the buildings is now lower by 8m.

Estudio Lamela Arquitectos
Madrid, Spain Spanien

“Symbol of a new Europe. Democratic. Symbiotic. Open to dialog. Revitalising the Grossmarkthalle. Flexible, modular and efficient. Environmentally sustainable.” The new structure is to be positioned directly on Sonnemannstrasse, right in front of the Grossmarkthalle. A completely glass-covered slab rises some 10m above the old market hall and is topped by additional six storeys resembling a roof and jutting out well beyond the Grossmarkthalle. “The building as a global reference: a form separate from fashion, daring as well as respectful, light in its appearance, yet portraying a powerful image.” The project submitted to the second phase is a refinement of the project of the first phase.

Gehry Partners, LLP
Los Angeles, CA, USA

This concept “presents the opportunity to build an important financial centre without imitating the skyline of the nearby Frankfurt banking district or comparable city centres.” The plans envisage the historical Grossmarkthalle building being surrounded by various complexes, resulting in a sort of self-contained small town. Varied segments of a modulated glass roof cover both the buildings and the open spaces between them and give the entire ensemble a sculptural appearance. The project submitted to the second phase differs from the project of the first phase particularly by the further development of the glass roofs.

KHR Arkitekter AS
Virum, Denmark

Six slender wings, 14m-deep, with meandering floor plates adjoin the South facade of the Grossmarkthalle. A uniform membrane roof on slender columns covers the entire ensemble, including the Grossmarkthalle. “It is like a reflection of the earth itself, where sustainability at a global scale arises from the actions taking place in the countless microcosms of individuals and groups taking care of our neighbourhoods, our regional environments, and ourselves. The goal is to provide comfort in the building’s interior in the most energy-efficient manner.”

Morphosis
Santa Monica, CA, USA

“This scheme involves the creation of a complex of buildings and interstitial spaces that provide a multiplicity of viewpoints and that are resolved through the mediation of landscape so that the final design has a sense of inextricability from the urban fabric of Frankfurt. ...The complex provides a resolve between the urban and natural contingencies of the site and posits the ECB headquarters as a 21st century prototype of the harmony that is possible between the built and the biological or ecological worlds.”

Murphy / Jahn, Inc.
Chicago, IL, USA

The project submitted to the second phase has nothing in common with the one from the first phase; it is a completely different design. “Next to the lower Grossmarkthalle the ‘Towers’ create a vertical counterpoint. The curved slabs open towards the ‘Entrance Drive’ and the River Main, maximising the views to and from the Towers. The vertical circulation between the two tower slabs continues horizontally into the ‘Base Building,’ the Grossmarkthalle, the ECB garage, and the ‘Entrance Drive,’ and it will be extended in the future to the expansion to the West.”

Schneider + Schumacher Architekturgesellschaft mbH
Frankfurt/Main, Germany

“All required office floor space is condensed into a centralised volume acting as a vertically stacked city.” As a counterbalance to the Grossmarkthalle the plans envisage an 89m-high compact, circular building in between the historic building and the River Main. Grouped into four units of six storeys each, three half-crescent office sections per storey adjoin the central core. Like a cogwheel the units are staggered around the central axis by half a turn in each case, such that the ceiling of the lower unit forms the platform for the “skygarden” above. The new typology combines “the benefits of a ‘comb’- structure, such as good views, natural ventilation and small scale departments, with the advantages of a tower: short distances and central access. ...The building will look: generous and compact, simple and complex, rational and poetic, modern and timeless.” The project submitted to the second phase is a refinement of the project of the first phase

TP Bennett Architecture
London, UK

The concept is based on the idea of “a unifying framework representing the community and its future growth, stabilised by the ECB.” The folded landscape forms the very framework out of which the new buildings grow, as it were. These are positioned in a fan-like configuration between the Grossmarkthalle and the banks of the River Main. There are plans for two higher interlinked glass towers — the taller one soaring 150m high — as well as a series of lower buildings. The project submitted to the second phase is a refinement of the project of the first phase.

The Three Design Proposals of the Revision Phase and the Chosen Design Proposal

Frontmatter
54F Architekten+Ingenieure Darmstadt, Germany T. R. Hamzah & Yeang Sdn Bhd. International Ampang Selangor, Malaysia

Previously the two high-rises (or four, including the growth modules) were aligned with the urban lines of the surrounding neighbourhood. In order to optimise functionality and provide a more central access point, the entire cluster is moved westwards, with the result that it is no longer fully aligned. In the North-East corner of the site, a large car park, with four levels above ground and two below, corrects the previous shortfall in the number of parking spaces.

ASP Schweger Assoziierte Gesamtplanung GmbH
Berlin, Germany

The ensemble of three high-rises (four, including the growth module) with a connecting platform is made more compact by reducing its total length by 4m and increasing its height from 147 to 153m. The ensemble now lies aligned parallel to the Grossmarkthalle instead of at an angle.

Coop Himmelb(L)Au Prix & Swiczinsky & Dreibholz Zt GmbH
Vienna, Austria

Increasing the height of the two towers from 150 to 184m and lowering the “groundscraper” by 4m alters the proportions of the ensemble considerably. At the same time, the entire “groundscraper” has been moved 15m to the East, in order to provide a clear view of the Western section of the Grossmarkthalle from the River Main.

The Chosen Design Proposal
Coop Himmelb(L)Au — Prix & Swiczinsky & Dreibholz Zt GmbH Vienna, Austria

After extensive discussions and a careful evaluation, based on the selection criteria, of the strengths and weaknesses of all three prize-winning designs from the international urban planning and architectural design competition, the Governing Council of the ECB concluded that the revised design concept of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU best meets the functional and technical requirements specified by the ECB, and has features that reflect the ECB’s values and translate them into architectural language. This decision confirms the judgement of the international jury, who awarded first prize to this project.

Backmatter
Metadata
Title
The New Premises of the European Central Bank/Der Neubau der Europäischen Zentralbank
Editors
Peter Cachola Schmal
Ingeborg Flagge
Copyright Year
2005
Publisher
Birkhäuser Basel
Electronic ISBN
978-3-7643-7917-9
Print ISBN
978-3-7643-7205-7
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/3-7643-7917-0