How come that after World War II it was Frankfurt of all places that for many years was the only German city with buildings that reached for the skies – and today boasts a quite memorable skyline? Deutsches Architekturmuseum in Frankfurt/Main is exploring this question and critically examining the history of local high-rises in its exhibition “Skyward. High Rise City Frankfurt”.
We felt this to be a good occasion to present some of the high-rises that have been built down through the decades and now shape the city’s face. To coincide with the exhibition opening its door on November 7, 2014, a catalog is coming out entitled “High-Rise City Frankfurt. Buildings and Visions since 1945”; the texts and images below are reprinted from it with kind permission of the publishers.
Architects: Prof. Christoph Mäckler Architekten
Height: 200 Meter || Storeys: 50 || Built: 2008-2012
The name Tower 185 refers to the originally planned height of the building that marks the gateway to Frankfurt’s new Europaviertel. Split into two halves that are connected at an acute angle and enclose a glazed central section, the tower forms an idiosyncratic ensemble with the base. Its glass and aluminium façade contrasts with the natural stone of the low-rise, whose material and perimeter block typology create a connection to the built fabric of the city. The deep horseshoe courtyard with its stone colonnade in front of the entrance lobby opens up the building’s space to its public surroundings. (Evelyn Steiner)
Architect: Gruber + Kleine-Kraneburg
Height: 63 Meter || Storeys: 19 || Built: 2011-2014
The 1998 high-rise development plan envisioned a building with a height of only 115 metres on the former site of the administration building of Deutsche Genossenschaftskasse, which had been occupied by Commerzbank since 1978. The architecture firm Gruber and Kleine-Kraneburg won the competition in 2000, but the housing crisis put the project on hold. Eventually, two new investors were found – Commerz Real and Tishman Speyer – and the architects revised their original plans. The development consists of an office high-rise with a soaring glass façade and a light-coloured sandstone base along with a separate, slightly lower tower, which contains the residential units that the city insisted on as a condition for the permit. The two towers are connected by a podium building, which contains exhibition space for the Museum für Moderne Kunst. The complex is set back so that its entrance is aligned with the Wallanlagen, thus creating new public green space. Today, the Taunusturm is the only high-rise with an entrance facing the Taunusanlage.
SKYWARD. Highrise City Frankfurt
8 November 2014 – 19 April 2015
High-Rise City Frankfurt. Buildings and Visions since 1945
Edited by Philipp Sturm and Peter Cachola Schmal
hard cover, 320 p., 232 ills