City of Frankfurt is putting pressure on Hesse at the former police department

Discussion surrounding the former police department at the heart of the republic, located between the fair and the main station, is slowly turning tragic: the old venerable building is empty and forfeited. Since the departure of the police, several attempts have failed to renew the site. The city of Frankfurt am Main has the right to plan but the property belongs to the country. The state of Hesse has so far established a halt with the construction of the subway tunnel that will run underground.

It's pretty much about money

The area stands at 80 million euros in the books of Hessian Finance Minister Thomas Schäfer (CDU). This sum is due to the fact that an office building with a height of up to 145 meters is able to be built at this location, according to the plan of the Hochhausfrahmenplan. However, office buildings are currently not particularly popular in Frankfurt compared to the booming housing market. It is therefore questionable whether the amount raised by the state of Hesse would ever be paid by an investor if it were to be assumed that only a single use of the land would arise: “The country has speculated,” says Ulli Baier (Greens). The Minister of Finance had to make a valuation adjustment, but it was difficult.

The city loses patience

In the plenary session of the city parliament, a participant said that the long delay had been superfluous and the line must now be pulled. On the request of the black-red-green coalition, it was decided to revise the development plan. The aim is to allow more residential construction at this location. At the same time, however, this would mean that less or no citizenship-holder provided it. It is therefore unclear how this will change the values ​​of the state of Hesse. It is also open as to whether a 145-meter high-rise building is even to be allowed. Mike Josef, who is the planning director, recently expressed his opinion that he could imagine several smaller high-rise buildings together in a group. Josef does not only imagine a mixture of offices and apartments on the premises, but also a gym for the neighboring Falkschule, and cultural facilities, a hotel or a medical centre are also conceivable. According to the currently valid development plan, buildings with a total area of ​​around 100,000 square meters are possible.

The goal is not to confront the state of Hesse. Rather, the state of Hesse should finally make a decision so that the entire area can be built up rapidly.



The high-rise buildings at the Westhafen can come

The planned residential quarter has been confirmed to be built in the immediate vicinity of the Gutleut thermal power station on the Main Neckar bridge. The city of Frankfurt had stopped the project, because up to 80 tons of toxic ammonia gas had been stored in the immediate vicinity of the future residential buildings on the property. This is now to be rectified for safety reasons. The costs for this are estimated at around one million euros, which is provided by the investor of the new residential quarter. What is also clear is that the apartments in the two residential towers are likely to become even more expensive than previously assumed. After all, the costs of construction on site at the heating plant is likely to be transferred to the apartments.

Hundreds of New Apartments

The construction of this settlement paved the way for further construction of two high-rise buildings with a total of 83 apartments, offices and shops. In addition, a huge dormitory building with 398 micro-apartments for students is to be created, acting as a noise barrier to the Main-Neckar bridge. The new dormitories are to help alleviate the lack of housing for students in Frankfurt.

In Frankfurt’s planning council, there was great satisfaction: “I am very pleased that this agreement has resulted in a high hurdle for urban development in the summer park”, said planning manager, Mike Josef (SPD), according to the Frankfurt Rundschau. The project represents a “great profit for Frankfurt”.

The combined heat and power plant at Westhafen supplies a large part of Frankfurt with energy. Ammonia gas is used for the continuous operation of the combined heat and power plant West: it cleans the pollutants in the exhaust gases of the power plant. The operator, Mainova, an urban energy supplier, had excluded financial participation in negotiations with the investor from the residential quarter.

In order to allow a high quality living environment in the vicinity of the combined heat and power station, additional sound insulation is to be provided.



Skyscrapers: Doubtful Feelings

Between Fascination and Rejection

Tall buildings are, to a large extent, stagings and presentations of economic power. Each new design serves as an eye-catcher to exhibit a visualisation of the client’s own initiative and risk profile.

High-rise buildings have always been impressive, but they’ve also attracted criticism, far more so than other types of modern architecture in their 120-year history. One person considers a tall building a triumphant symbol, while another associates it with an imposing nature.

Experts have warned against the fact that skyscrapers can have a depressing effect on people. They often produce feelings of insignificance and anonymity.

Supporters view skyscrapers as a symbol of a city, as well as prestige. The form and function of these buildings can therefore always be read in different ways.

Architecture is more than the physical realisation of buildings. It also has place in cultural reality, and provides a projection surface for interpretations, views and emotional reactions. However, the buildings must work practically, primarily, and only carry a clear message in the second instance.

City environment often disorganized

If high-rise buildings are scattered over the city, the urban space often becomes disorganized. If, however, a city ensures that high-rise buildings are rather combined in a closed system, a new city with a new quality and a public impact will be created.

As an often neglected criterion of the assessment of high-rise buildings, the map, which was often neglected in the past, must be cited. Today, this has changed in the sense that municipal and state authorities are trying to influence the logistics of the distribution of the heights of inner city soil. But here, too, the main attention is usually limited to the individual building.

Previously, individual corporations usually built high-rise buildings for themselves. Today this is different. In the high-rise buildings, an extremely high share of the floor space is leased, usually banks, insurance companies, consulting firms and more and more law firms. That is why the outside must also be right. Architecture has become an important part of successful rental. This development takes place for a lasting embellishment of the city silhouette. The critics are of course a thorn in the eye. But they can not prevent this with their attitude towards high-rise buildings.