The MesseTurm will be renovated from April 2019

The MesseTurm, built in 1990, is to be renovated in a big way. The 256.5-meter-high skyscraper will be converted to state-of-the-art technology to plans by Helmut Jahn, the original architect of the Frankfurt landmark. In particular, the lobby should be brighter and move in new premises. The conversion work will begin in April 2019, according to Officefirst. Officefirst is an asset management subsidiary of the owner Blackstone.

According to Officefirst, the office tower block, which some call a “pencil”, will receive a “fresh cell spa” by the summer of 2020 and be “equipped for the requirements of modern office users”. For this an investment of 100 million euros is available. The façade of the MesseTurm is to be remodeled only marginally. The oriels on the edges of the tower will be illuminated in the future, which should emphasize the postmodern architecture of the MesseTurm more. On the other hand, the building base should change more strongly.

During the revitalization of the MesseTurm, great value will be placed on a cozy ambience, creative retreats and an appealing gastronomy. A café bar in the lobby is designed to entertain visitors inside and outside the building, with a design-inspired Thun-inspired restaurant in the basement. This would be a reversal of the previous concept, which allows only selected visitors to enter the building.

According to plans by the German-American architect Jahn, who is also committed to modernization, the tower base will in the future consist of glass elements that are at least 18 meters high, three meters wide, and which, according to Officefirst, will be installed in such a high-rise building for the first time. The new façade of the MesseTurm will drop plans for more light than before in the lobby. There, bright and warm materials are to be installed according to a design by the Italian architect Matteo Thun. Also, all connecting corridors and the elevator area should be designed. According to information from Officefirst, the aim is “the flair of an international top hotel”.

One of the main tenants of the MesseTurm was US bank Goldman Sachs until early summer 2019. However, Goldman Sachs Deutschland moves to the Marienturm.

When MesseTurm was completed in 1990, it was the tallest skyscraper in Europe.

18 meters high glass elements, which are each 3 meters wide, are meant to let more light fall into the lobby of the MesseTurm.

MesseTurm Frankfurt - The office skyscraper will be renovated during 2019 - Rendering and animation of the lobby (c) Officefirst


High-rise Development Plan: What we know and don’t know

Large cities use so-called master plans for better city planning. An urban development master plan is an informal planning tool for exploring development potential in a city or district and outlining perspectives for its future use.

The City of Frankfurt wants to use the 2021 high-rise development plan to express its political opinion on how and where skyscrapers are to be built in the future. This should allow investors and builders to better orient themselves. The Planning Department of the City of Frankfurt is preparing to update the high-rise development plan, which will also name locations where new high-rise towers can be built. In the continuation of the high-rise building plan, the city of Frankfurt reportedly does not want to allow new residential towers.

So far, the city is fcussing to create clusters of high-rise buildings, in each of which several towers over 60 meters in height can arise. Single-standing high-rise buildings are supposed to be the absolute exception. With the skyscraper development plan 2021, the city wants to prevent “wild growth” in urban planning and direct the construction of skyscrapers.



Reloaded: High-rise complex Neue Mainzer Strasse

More than 18 years ago, the architectural firm KSP Engel und Zimmermann presented designs for a high-rise complex at Neue Mainzer Strasse 57-59 in the Frankfurt CBD. Since then, you did not hear much about the project.

After acquiring the land plots Neue Mainzer Strasse 57-59 in 2018, the state bank Hessische Landesbank (Helaba) now intends to arrange the construction of a high-rise building on the basis of the current development plans for the banking district. Helaba is currently in talks with the City of Frankfurt. As soon as the framework data has been discussed with the city, they are coordinated with the responsible bodies and the process of building the building is further advanced. Now one has to wait for the outcome of this process. Therefore, technical specifications (such as height, floor space, construction volume) are not final in the current planning state.

Right now many outdated animations from the year 2001 are circulating in numerous forums and websites on the Internet. Newer computer animations were not available so far – until today: the SKYLINE ATLAS now presents revised designs here – as of spring 2019.

High-rise complex Neue Mainzer Strasse in Frankfurt Germany - Helaba skyscraper - KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten - Rendering as of 2019
Siteplan Helaba skyscraper Frankfurt - Neue Mainzer Strasse - Frankfurt CBD - Macro
Siteplan Helaba skyscraper Frankfurt - Neue Mainzer Strasse - Frankfurt CBD - Micro


Waterfront Tower at Main river shore

A prominent section of the Eastern Harbor in Frankfurt (called “Molenkopf” in German) is to be built with a hotel tower called Waterfront. For the new construction, an architectural competition took place in which nine architectural firms had participated. The jury has now announced the winner for the construction of the Molenkopf: The architectural firm Barkow Leibinger from Berlin has therefore been awarded and will deliver its design. The project is being developed at the Osthafenbrücke in Frankfurt by the B&L Gruppe (“B&L Group”) from Hamburg.

On an area of ​​1,400 square meters (15,000 square feet), 26,000 square meters (280,000 square feet) of above-ground gross floor area will be created. A few parking places are realized below the roundabout. In total, Harbor Park Quarter, which also compromises of the Waterfront Hotel, comprises more than 180,000 square meters (1,938,000 square feet) of above-ground gross floor space with 600 apartments, three hotel concepts, office and retail space and a day care center.

In the Waterfront tower, two hotel concepts are planned. Up to the 12th floor, 300 guest rooms will be realized together with an international hotel brand. The upper storeys will house 120 guest rooms from B&L’s own Clipper hotel brand. A special highlight is the Skyline Bar on the 12th floor, from which one will have breathtaking views of the Frankfurt CBD skyline and the nearby European Central Bank.

The quay at the foot of the Waterfront project will also be open to the public and extend the Harbor Park to the east. Here, the B&L Gruppe plans to establish an attractive outdoor restaurant in the style of a beach club. The B&L Gruppe plans to submit the building application for the fall in 2019 so that construction work can commence in the spring of 2020.

The completion and opening of the two Waterfront hotels is scheduled for 2022.

Harbor Park Quarter in Frankfurt - Hafenpark Quartier - new hotels at ECB site
In March 2019, the results of the architectural competition concering the Waterfront development were shown in the planning department. Here are some pictures of this exhibition:
Waterfront by B&L Gruppe - 1st prize winner Barkow Leibinger


High rents: dormitory for hotel employees takes shape

The high rents for apartments in Frankfurt are no longer just a problem for those looking for a flat. Because many people from the middle class can hardly afford life in the urban area FrankfurtRhineMain, it is becoming increasingly difficult for employers such as hotels to find new employees. The remedy is Germany’s first dormitory for hotel employees.

Some hotels have already set them up: they have their own staff houses or rent apartments, which are provided to their own staff. But there is still a lack of affordable housing for their own employees.

That is why the Dehoga (German Hotel and Restaurant Association) is now breaking new ground. In the future, hoteliers will be able to rent a special boarding house at Lyoner Strasse 11, which is currently being converted from an office building. The Evan-Gruppe (Evan Group) will set up a total of 375 small apartments by the end of 2021, exclusively for employees from the hotel and catering industry. The Boarding House Lyoner Strasse 11 is rented out at around 30 to 35 hotels, which can then assign rooms to their trainees or new employees.

600 euros rent per month for 19 square meters of living space

It will cost nearly 600 euros per month for a furnished room warm including kitchen and bathroom – 19 square meters in size. According to an employee of the landlord Evan Group, this is the first such offer especially for hotels in Germany. The Evan Group sees this as a business model and wants to offer it in other cities.



Architectural competition for tower at the central station decided

The winner of the architectural competition for the construction of the planned residential area in the GRAND CENTRAL project at Frankfurt’s main station comes from the Netherlands: The Delft office Mecanoo Architecten convinced in the jury meeting of the eight-member jury and secured the first place in a high-profile competition on November 30, 2018, in which renowned architects’ offices participated. The prize was awarded by Grand Central Frankfurt GmbH, a joint venture of the two property developers PHOENIX Real Estate and Groß & Partner, which are developing the property in close cooperation with the City of Frankfurt.

The architectural competition was devoted to the design of a mixed-use district between Hafenstrasse and Adam-Riese-Strasse, which is within walking distance of Frankfurt’s main train station and in which a total of approx. 55,000 square meters (180,000 square feet) of new living space is being built. Up to 600 apartments are planned here, which are spread over a 140 meter (459 feet) tall residential tower and an adjacent building (which may reach a height of up to 60 meters; or 197 feet). An approximately 1,300 square meters (4,264 square feet) day care center and 1,700 square meters (5,576 square feet) of commercial space for local supply and catering complete the district mix and create a new, attractive, urban location. The proportion of subsidized living space amounts to a total of approximately 16,500 square meters (54,120 square feet) of living space, divided in half between the funding programs 1. Förderweg and 2. Förderweg. For the residents and visitors of the quarter are about 400 parking spaces available.

In addition to Mecanoo, the Frankfurt-based architects Mäckler, HPP, Ferdinand Heide and NKBAK took part in the competition, as did the Berlin-based office Eike Becker and the Danish architect Schmidt Hammer Lassen from Copenhagen. The jury, which consisted of representatives of the City of Frankfurt, architecture and urban development experts and the initiator, were able to evaluate seven designs and awarded four prizes due to the high quality of the proposals. The winner of the competition was Mecanoo. The Frankfurt team of Mäckler Architekten took second place just behind, the third place was awarded twice – to the architecture firms Ferdinand Heide and HPP. All designs must, however, be revised due to the complex development of the district and the building dependencies.

“The concept of Mecanoo convinced us that the challenges of this district planning were solved with a very attractive, sustainable and at the same time intelligent architectural concept. The exposed location at the main station and the high visibility of the residential tower demand an outstanding façade design, which we at Mecanoo rated very positively “, commented the representative of the representative Jürgen Gross and Dr. med. Frank Lebsanft together the winning design.

The City of Frankfurt was also satisfied with the result of the competition: “We welcome the fact that considerable new housing is being created in this central location, of which 30% will be subsidized apartments. With this project of internal development, brownfields are meaningfully used without additional surface sealing. The neighborhood will continue to open up to the neighborhood in the future. The new day-care center, restaurants and shopping facilities on the ground floor of the two buildings are also contributing to the revival, “commented Frankfurt’s planning department head Mike Josef on the decision of the jury.

The newly developing residential complex is part of the larger GRAND CENTRAL project development on the northwest side of Frankfurt’s central station. On the area between Adam-Riese-Straße and Hafenstraße stood vacant posthalls that were demolished in the course of the year 2018 in order to realize new uses on the approximately 130,000 square meters (426,000 square feet) area. Deutsche Bahn AG, the German railway operator, kicked off the conversion of this urban area by leasing the new corporate headquarters for DB Netz AG, which will be constructed by the end of 2020. In addition to apartments, offices and a hotel, gastronomic areas are planned on the premises. A pedestrian bridge over the Hafenstraße should connect the quarter directly to the main station.

The realization of the new residential district, including the 140 meters (459 feet) tall residential tower, is to begin at the earliest after the completion of the corporate headquarters for DB Netze AG in late 2020 / early 2021.



New Tower Main East Gate is being built at the Offenbach Harbor

An office building up to 70 meters high (230 feet) is to be built on the Harbor Square Offenbach. With about 20 storeys and a gross floor area of ​​approx. 13,600 square meters (146,400 square feet), an architecturally high-quality high-rise building is to be built in the newly created district in the heart of the Rhein-Main region.

Coming from the east to Frankfurt, the “MAIN GATE EAST” will be the first visible tower on the Main river and thus have landmark character. On the approx. 2,800 square meters (9,200 square feet) big plot the planned building will contain office, retail and restaurant space as well as parking areas in the neighboring car park. The project volume amounts to about 65 million euros. The project is being developed by EYEMAXX Real Estate AG, which implements the building together with 6B47 Germany GmbH.

Construction is scheduled to start in mid-2020 and completion is scheduled for the end of 2022. EYEMAXX plans to sell the property to an investor after completion.

Together with OPG Offenbacher Projektentwicklungsgesellschaft mbH, which develops and markets the port of Offenbach, EYEMAXX is now preparing an architectural competition with five selected applicants. The jury will also include representatives of the city of Offenbach and the OPG.

The “MAIN GATE EAST” is to benefit in a special way from the consistent urban development of the city of Offenbach. OPG, the multi-award winning public real estate company of Stadtwerke-Gruppe Offenbach, has successfully revitalized the former industrial port and transformed it into a lively, urban quarter with an exciting mix of living and working, education and culture, sports and leisure. In attractive WasserlagevSind high living comfort and creative work atmosphere with a high-quality infrastructure connected – from a kindergarten and elementary school on a shopping and cultural center to a variety of recreational and recreational opportunities. The state of Hesse wants to build its new university for design here in just a few years.

The Offenbacher Hafen was one of the first lodgings ever to be precertified with gold in the category city quarter Neubau by the German Sustainable Building Council.



Foundation stone laid for high-rise ONE

The Austrian project developer CA Immo today laid the foundation stone for the ONE skyscraper project near the MesseTurm. Together with representatives of the City of Frankfurt, the hotel lessee NH Hotel Group, the architects Meurer Generalplaner and the shell manufacturer Hochtief Building, the foundation stone was laid for the office and hotel tower ONE. The 190-meter-high skyscraper is being built on the interface between the banking district and the trade fair. ONE is expected to be finished by the end of 2021. CA Immo’s investment is around EUR 330 million.

City Council Jan Schneider, as head of department responsible for construction and real estate, said in his speech: “ONE will enrich the Frankfurt skyline not only with 190 m of impressive architecture, but also with many new jobs. He is thus strengthening the booming Europaviertel, which has become one of the most important urban development developments in Germany within just one decade. ”

Michael J. Morgan, Managing Director of CA Immo Deutschland GmbH and Head of Business Operations, thanked the project team for the successful development and construction process so far, and commented on the expectations of the real estate market: “The ONE’s innovative usage concept hits the nerve of the times. In addition to the central and urban location, our customers expect a building that can react extremely flexibly to their requirements – both in terms of space and in terms of additional service offerings. ”

Even before construction began, CA Immo had signed a contract with the NH Hotel Group for a hotel of the lifestyle brand nhow which is currently not present in the city. The future four-star superior hotel occupies the lower 14 floors of the ONE and will have 375 rooms. The highlight for both hotel guests and office users is the Skybar on the top floor, also operated by the nhow. The publicly accessible bar is unique in Frankfurt and offers a 360 degree panoramic view of Frankfurt and the Taunus. In addition, the hotel offers a 1,000 m² convention center, as well as restaurant, bar, café and fitness areas, which are also available to the office tenants.

Through the interlocking of different private and public uses, as well as through the lobby shared by hotel and office, the urbanity and the life of the city is drawn into the building and continued. The usage concept responds to the increasing demands of office tenants. This applies in particular to the flexibility of leased space but also to rental agreements and the ever increasing demand for informal meeting and communication locations and services. The concept for the ONE also provides for the provision of a co-working area, which can also be used by the tenants of the building.

Designed by the Frankfurt architect Meurer Generalplaner, ONE has 49 storeys and a gross floor area of ​​around 85,000 m² (gross floor area). The construction management for the ONE lies with the CA Immo subsidiary omniCon, which in this function is responsible for the entire project management as well as the allocation and management of all trades. For the shell construction, the Hochtief Building was contracted with its Frankfurt branch.

At the beginning of 2018, ONE was the first high-rise in Germany to receive a WiredScore certification in Platinum. Thus, the ONE is certified to the highest standards in terms of connectivity, digital infrastructure and future security. WiredScore is a PropTech company and certifies digital infrastructure for commercial real estate. In terms of sustainability, the project developer is planning a DGNB building certification at least in gold standard for ONE.



Huge Coworking Center in the Global Tower

The GEG German Estate Group AG has just completed the first major lease for the Global Tower in the center of the Frankfurt banking district: the co-working provider Spaces, a subsidiary of the listed IWG (International Workspace Group), will have a total of 9,170 square meters (98,705 square feet) in the Global Tower rent and move in the fall of 2020. It is the largest co-working contract, which was completed in 2018 in Frankfurt.

Spaces provides the potential users with around 700 flexible workplaces, which in addition to jobs in the open co-working area also include individual offices and team offices. A spacious meeting and event area, the 4th floor rooftop terrace for events for up to 200 people, and the Global Forum event and conference room, which seats up to 500 people, will add to the conference offer in the city center. An integrated business club with an attached café / bistro, which serves as a central point of contact for all users, but is also open to external guests, completes the offer. The real estate broker NAI apollo acted as intermediary for the tenant and BNP Paribas Real Estate GmbH for the GEG.



GEG Real Estate Group acquires the Garden Tower

The GEG German Estate Group AG from Frankfurt has acquired the Garden Tower in the center of Frankfurt’s banking district. The skyscraper can be found in the Neue Mainzer Strasse 46-50 (corner Neue Schlesingergasse). The total investment volume is around EUR 275 million. The three main tenants on the 27,500 square meters (296,000 square feet) of rentable office space are Société Générale (31%), AIG Europe Limited, Directorate for Germany (14%) and the co-working provider Tribes (10%). The building is currently let by 95 percent. With the Development Global Tower under construction, the Japan Center (acquired at the end of 2017), the GEG is now present in the center of Frankfurt’s financial district with three distinctive top properties (total investment volume of over EUR 850 million).

Ulrich Höller, CEO of GEG: “The Garden Tower complements our investment strategy for Frankfurt skyscrapers in a prime location. This investment underlines that with the Garden Tower next to Japan Center and the Development Global Tower, we are convinced of the development of the micro-location in the center of the CBD.”

Seller is a fund managed by Tristan Capital Partners. Jean-Philippe Blangy, Head of Asset Management at Tristan Capital Partners, said: “Following the successful implementation of the Tristan business plan, the Garden Tower is one of Frankfurt’s most attractive skyscrapers. The building houses valuable features, a diversified tenant structure characterized by first-class credit standing including the German headquarters of Societé Generale and the international insurance company AIG, as well as a LEED Gold certification.”



Hyatt House moves to FOUR Frankfurt

Residing high above the Frankfurt Rossmarkt and enjoying the service world of a premium hotel – this will be made possible in the future by the Hyatt House international hotel brand of the Hyatt Group. The HR Group, a franchisee of Hyatt, will operate 180 serviced apartments in the 178 meter high residential tower of the quarter FOUR Frankfurt. The extended stay rooms and suites are spread over an approx. 8,800 square meter rental space and offer guests the opportunity to live in the midst of the skyline. The HR Group has signed a leasing agreement with Gross & Partner for 25 years and leases nine floors in the second-highest tower of the high-rise quarter, from the 11th to the 19th floor. Thus, spectacular views of the city and the surrounding area are guaranteed. On the first and second floors will be open to public areas – a 350 square meter lobby with bar, a spacious breakfast and lounge area and a 24-hour fitness room.

The modern lifestyle concept is aimed not only at discerning hotel visitors, but also at long-term guests. Users can look forward to a range of amenities, with the majority of apartments featuring fully equipped kitchens, designer bathrooms and comfortable living and sleeping rooms. Free Wi-Fi, Guest Laundry and a 24-hour Grab’n’Go-Market complete the service. Long-term guests booking longer than 30 days also benefit from an exclusive Residents Program (VIR), which offers a variety of additional services. The future entrance to the hotel is located directly on the newly planned city square, which will be built between Grosse Gallusstraße and Neue Schlesingergasse.

Behind the Hyatt House brand stands the Hyatt Group, one of the leading hotel groups in the world. “We are delighted that Hyatt House in downtown Frankfurt continues to grow our Select Service portfolio in Germany,” said Guido Fredrich, Hyatt’s Regional Vice President of Development Europe & North Africa. “We are establishing Hyatt House globally in strategically important markets, including Frankfurt. The excellent location in the city center and the integration of the hotel into the concept of the new quarter FOUR Frankfurt are a perfect match for the brand. Ruslan Husry, managing partner of the HR Group, adds: “We are proud to be part of this unique project with the Hyatt House brand and are confident that the Hyatt House Frankfurt / City Goetheplatz will be a real asset to the hotel market Europe’s financial centers. “

So far Hyatt operates a hotel of the brand Hyatt House in Dusseldorf. Another Hyatt House in Eschborn is under construction.

The conclusion of the contract also marks an important milestone for Groß & Partner. Thus, the Frankfurt project developer reaches the leasing targets in the area of ​​hotels & serviced apartments months before the start of the civil engineering works. “With Hyatt House, we have gained a high-performing partner for FOUR Frankfurt, who optimally occupies the” Serviced Apartments “segment. For guests who want to live in the middle of the skyline, Hyatt House will be a top address, “explains Nikolaus Bieber, managing partner of Groß & Partner, the conclusion of the lease. “The early achievement of our marketing goals in this part of the project gives us additional planning security and makes the FOUR Frankfurt quarter a further piece of reality.”

Groß & Partner was advised on the conclusion of the contract by the law firm Hogan Lovells, the HR Group of GSK Stockmann. Jones Lang Lasalle acted as intermediary. The Hyatt House is expected to open in 2023.

Hotel skyscraper in Frankfurt Europe containing a Hyatt Hotel


FOUR Frankfurt: Timetable for Realization announced

There is news regarding the development timetable for the high-rise quarter FOUR Frankfurt. The city’s construction supervisory authority gave the green light for site clearance demolition at the end of March 2018. A few days ago, the gutting of the buildings on the central-city area between Junghofstrasse, Grosse Gallusstrasse, and Neue Schlesingergasse began. Workers and machines are now working daily to demolish the area on Rossmarkt gradually.

According to site manager Roger Schmitt of GP Con GmbH, a subsidiary of Gross & Partner, the coring work on some components will be completed by the end of April 2018, so that the controlled demolition of the first building will begin in May 2018. According to the preliminary plan, the parking garage in the Neue Schlesingergasse will be removed first, followed by the parts of the building from the 1950s, which are located in the inner courtyard. The facades at Junghofstrasse and the historic foyers at Junghofstraße 11 are protected by landmark status and are to be secured. At the beginning of summer 2018, the black tower in Grosse Gallusstrasse (built in 1971) will be removed floor by floor, while the adjoining six-storey building opposite Commerzbank Tower will be demolished. The entire area, with the exception of the listed areas, will be completely vacated in late summer of 2018, so that civil engineering work can start at the end of 2018.

“Our entire team looks forward to the construction start with great anticipation! After intensive preliminary planning, the first visible step is now being taken to realize FOUR Frankfurt, a project that will enrich the city center in many ways,” says Roger Schmitt, describing the mood of the project’s developer.


The demolition work on the former site of Deutsche Bank began in April 2018:

Removal of buildings at the former Deutsche Bank site for the FOUR Frankfurt skyscrapers - as seen in 2018


Facade design of DB Tower revealed

The winner of the design competition for Deutsche Bahn AG’s DB Tower in Europaviertel district has been chosen: While the building follows a design by schmidtploecker Architekten, Aldinger Architekten from Stuttgart have now provided the exterior appearance.

The competition was organized by Aurelis Real Estate, in cooperation with the City of Frankfurt. The jury consisted of Mike Josef, head of Planning Department of the City of Frankfurt; Martin Hunscher, Urban Planning Department of the City of Frankfurt; Joachim Wieland, CEO of Aurelis; and renowned architects from the region and other representatives of Deutsche Bahn and Aurelis. Five other architectural offices participated in the competition alongside Aldinger Architekten.

The 60-meter-high DB Tower (approximately 29,000 square meters of rental space) is being built along with the planned office building The Brick (approximately 23,000 square meters of rental space). Aurelis will be constructing both buildings for Deutsche Bahn. The two companies signed a long-term lease in October 2017.

The main objective of the competition was to unify the two buildings in a harmonious yet exciting way. The Brick will be built according to the design of schmidtploecker Architekten from Frankfurt. Aldinger Architekten will work closely together with schmidtploecker. The Frankfurt architects had already been commissioned with the overall planning for The Brick and the DB Tower before the competition.

The short construction period also had to be taken into account in evaluating the competition results. Deutsche Bahn would like to move into the building by 2020.

“We wanted a campus atmosphere for this new company location,” explains Michael Rehschuh, Project Manager of Bürowelt Zentrale Personenverkehr at Deutsche Bahn AG. “Similar, but not the same, was the design requirement for the two buildings. Aldinger Architekten delivered a powerful design with their DB Tower, displaying a strong reference to The Brick.”

Mike Josef also praised the other contestants. “Each of the submitted works had a high level of functional and design quality. Aldinger Architekten, however, impressed with its façade structure, which fits in well with the existing buildings while setting a new accent on Europa-Allee.”

Aurelis had aleady broke ground on The Brick site last year. The construction work will be carried out by Züblin. Joachim Wieland on the implementation of the overall project: “The schedule is very ambitious. It helps us that planning for The Brick is already well underway.” The planning application for the DB Tower is due to be submitted in spring.

The designs of the six contestants will be exhibited from April 4 – 20, 2018 in the foyer of the Planning Department (Kurt-Schumacher-Strasse 10, 60311 Frankfurt am Main) and can be viewed Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 6:00pm.



Investor buys former police headquarters in Frankfurt

The former police headquarters at Friedrich Ebert Anlage in Frankfurt have changed hands. The Düsseldorf-based project developer, Gerch Group have bought the property in its prime location with existing buildings for 212.5 million euros. Previous buildings are all due to be demolished and about 800 million euros are being pumped into the new development of the property. The state government and City of Frankfurt fiercely fought over the project. Construction for the new development will begin in 2022, and the whole project is expected to be completed by 2026.

This information was announced by Hesse Finance Minister, Thomas Schäfer (CDU): “Frankfurt can be happy. Something is happening in a prominent place in the city.” he said. In years to come, a modern ensemble of flats, offices and a hotel could be built in the area between the main train station and the trade fair. The Minister of Finance said that a day care centre was also added, as well as a gymnasium for the Falkschule.

Thus, in the opinion of Minister of Finance, Schäfer, the requirements that the city of Frankfurt have set for future use of the site have been fulfilled. According to the minister, the sale proceeds will be reinvested by the state of Hesse into the Frankfurt area, especially in education and housing.

The former state-owned site covers more than 15,000 square meters. An architectural competition will determine which design will actually be chosen for construction here. The building permit allows a mixture of housing, office and hotel usage on the site, where a high-rise building to a maximum height of 145 meters (475 feet) can be built.

The former police headquarters are now dilapidated and have been vacant since 2002. In September 2017, the State of Hessen started the sales process, negotiating with several interested parties. Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann (SPD) accused the state (which owned the police headquarters site) of driving up the price of the terrain, similar to a “private speculator”, so that luxury apartments and expensive offices only were created there. The high price of the overall property to the Gerch Group would later cause buying prices for apartments to rise above 10,000 euros per square meter, leading to criticism of local politicians.



Design unveiled for the High-rise Plot 43 in Frankfurt

There has been movement in plans for a new tall building project on construction field 43 in the Europaviertel: Paulus Immobiliengruppe and its JV partner, Patron Capital Partners have commissioned the office, Eike Becker_Architekten to build a tower at Europaallee 92. These architects have previously prevailed in architectural competitions, along with the Sauerbruch Hutton, each winning second prize (a first prize was not awarded.)

Paulus Immobiliengruppe and Patron Capital Partners acquired the commercial property in mid-2017 from Aurelis Real Estate GmbH & Co. KG hosted the competition with a total of six participating architectural firms. Primarily, the deciding factors for the jury – chaired by Prof. Zvonko Turkali, along with Mike Josef, Head of Planning and Housing of the City of Frankfurt – were the cost-effectiveness and possible animated function of the design.

Eike Becker_Architekten’s plans envisaged a striking office tower design: a height of 60 meters in an unusual H-shape, with staggered elements and an adjoining seven-storey hotel building. Above all, the creation of retail and restaurant areas on the ground floor towards Europapark and along Europaallee were positively received by the jury. The tower could host up to 3,000 working office spaces. The adjoining hotel intended to have about 320-350 rooms, accessed via a representative lobby on the first floor. Furthermore, two basement floors, which extend over both halves of the plot, are intended to accommodate approximately 400 underground parking spaces and necessary ancillary facilities.

Construction is scheduled for the second half of 2018. The high-rise project is due for completion at the end of 2020 at the latest. The overall development of the area should also be largely completed by this time. A DGNB certificate in gold is set to be achieved.



The mystery surrounding the OmniTurm is solved

A high-rise is not arbitrarily built to a certain height. How tall one can construct on a particular lot is decided neither by the architect nor the owner: it is determined in the building plan. Those interested will observe, however, that there is sometimes a discrepancy between the development plan and the actual height of some high-rise buildings. In other words: a high-rise building is sometimes taller than originally planned, such as the OmniTurm (“Omni Tower”). The original development plan for this tower envisioned a maximum standing height of 175 meters. The planning department has since listed a height of 185.4 meters, but the site of the builder claims it is as high as 190 meters. The SKYLINE ATLAS then asked the question: how do these different heights come about and how tall is the OmniTurm now?

By request of the planning office of the City of Frankfurt, Mr. Rosmus has reported back to SKYLINE ATLAS. As the man responsible for planning issues within the Cityring, Mr. Rosmus explains: “The maximum height in a development plan can actually differ from the later height, for example, if technical floors are integrated into the structure. Technology floors are not counted in the height calculation.” This is the case, for example, with the Jumeirah high-rise building, where 3 floors were barely embedded in the architecture of the building.

“The same is true of the OmniTurm,” says Rosmus. The OmniTurm has technical floors planted in the above-ground floors. The height of 185.4 meters still stands out of the architectural competition and is no longer up to date. In the official building application for the OmniTurm, there were 189.9 meters (almost 190 meters), as indicated by the project developer TishmanSpeyer. As a result:

The OmniTurm has a height of 189.9 meters (623 feet).



The city needs the opposite pole – Frankfurt Southbank

Frankfurt has a famous skyline. On an international scale, though, we are rather modest. As anyone who has graced cities such as London, Toronto or Chicago knows, Frankfurt still has much potential to unleash. In the foreign media, this sounds different: Frankfurt would be provincial, boring or a “Canary Wharf in the green”.

So what could a further development look like? Let’s spin the idea of ​​residential towers a bit further. How would it work if we were to make modern high-rise buildings accessible not just to an elite minority, and to build them up close to the city centre? There are plenty of areas where residential towers would make sense, especially where we used to live in Sachsenhausen. The Skyline Atlas has therefore established a proposal to revive the southern main river shore, which we present here with solemnity. We have called it the Frankfurt Southbank concept.

Only one thing is missing: courageous project developers and the right architects for tomorrow’s Mainhattan!

Residential towers at the Main river shore in Sachsenhausen. I find that...


The tallest new high-rise buildings in an overview

More than 35 high-rise buildings are currently under construction in Frankfurt. Some are up to 228 meters high, others disappear into the skyline, but height is not everything. Aesthetics, cubature and mass play a no less important role. We have therefore asked ourselves how the highest of these projects look in comparison. The results are shown on the page Frankfurt Skyscrapers – Comparison of the towers.



After the Office City the Lyon Quarter comes into reality

The office town of Niederrad is changing, due to numerous residential projects. The transformation of such a large formerly purely office quarter into a mixed district is unique in Germany. It was reason enough for Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann to visit the former office town of Niederrad at the invitation of the site initiative “Neues Niederrad” (SINN). “The Lyon Quarter is a model example for the successful revitalisation of commercial quarters,” Feldmann said after an hour tour on Monday 21 August. At the beginning, the Lord Mayor had unveiled a large banner with a new banner and the salutation “Salut im Lyoner Quartier” (salut in the Lyon Quarter).

In addition to the welcome greeting, the banner informs about the latest development project “Living Lyon” by the Swedish project developer Catella. The living ensemble offers 123 modern units for all generations. “I am delighted that Catella is building rental apartments for singles, couples and families of all generations, because such apartments are especially scarce in the Frankfurt housing market,” said Mayor Feldmann. In return, Catella Managing Director, Klaus Franken paid tribute to the decision of the district council and the magistrate by renaming the office town of Niederrad in the “District of Lyon”. “For new citizens who are moving in here, this is important to be able to identify with the district,” says Franken.

Up to 8,000 people will soon be living in the Neighbourhood
The joint tour with the Lord Mayor, the members of the SINN and the district council 5 led to further housing projects. Among them was the “Pianocourts” of BIEN-RIES AG with 336 smaller and larger rented apartments, Hahnstraße 24 / corner Goldsteinstrasse. The investor is the Munich-based GBW Group. The first section is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Then we went to Hahnstraße 37-39 and 41. There, Max Baum Immobilien is building two residential and commercial buildings with 165 apartments as well as a food market, a discounter and a drugstore market for the ABG Holding in Frankfurt. Next stop was the project “Green Gate”. Project developer 6B47 is planning some 700 rental and owner-occupied apartments on Lyoner Strasse 52 on the outskirts of town.

The new SINN members, the housing associations GWH (Lyoner Strasse 38) and the company group Nassauische Heimstätte / Wohnstadt (Hahnstraße 46-48) are developing further housing projects. The Nassauische Heimstätte has already begun to evacuate the old computer centre. On the property, around 200 apartments of varying sizes, including a 30 percent subsidised housing area, will be built in 2019.

According to the city’s latest forecasts and the SINN location initiative, up to 8,000 people will move into the District of Lyon over the next 18 months. That would already be 2,000 people more than the Frankfurt city planners had calculated a few years ago: “For the city of Frankfurt, the former office center thus becomes a promising building block for residential space,” explained Peter Feldmann.

An office space with 25,000 workstations also has a lasting effect. New companies such as the Spanish pharmaceutical company Grifols and the French Premiere Classe hotel have settled down, and long-established companies such as Siemens have merged their scattered sites in the District of Lyon. “At the Büromarkt we expect a full letting over the next two years,” said the chairman of SINN, David Roitman. “If one removes vacant office buildings, which are demolished or turned into residential buildings, the effective office vacancy is now already five percent. This is significantly less than the Frankfurt average. The companies appreciate the advantages of the district, especially the good connection to the airport and the main station, ” said Roitman.

“We are delighted that the city is following our inspiration and is considering a green space concept. The topics of transport and primary school must also be addressed promptly. Local council and magistrate, SINN as an active partner will always be at their side, “said SINN chairman Roitman.

In the picture: Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann (2nd from the right) during his visit to the Lyon Quarter, next to Catella’s managing director Klaus Franken (r) and the chairman of the SINN board, David Roitmann (2nd from the left).

Addendum November 13, 2017: Almost three months after the official renaming of the office town of Niederrad in the Lyon Quarter, all the street signs in the Niederrad area still pointing to the “Bürostadt” (“Office City”) instead of the Lyon Quarter. This circumstance should be resolved as soon as possible!



60 years bridge on the Square of the Republic

The Skyline Atlas has been researching topics on the development plans of the city of Frankfurt, looking at extensive archive material. During this time, we came across a building magazine from the 1960s (corresponding page, see above). Background:

This year the so-called Hochstraße, a bridge in the Republic Square (“Platz der Republik”), celebrated its  60th year. The building was built in 1957 to relieve the area of traffic. The bridge was built by M.A.N. in just 24 hours due to its steel construction. The original advertisement text from M.A.N.:

This actionable flyover was mounted in just under 24 hours out of steel, which now relieves the roundabout at the Republic Square in Frankfurt. A road of this type can be mounted very quickly and with little disruption and dismantled just as later and rebuilt elsewhere with other spans. The roadway boards made of steel are coated with a plastic and non-slip. </ Em>

Today the traffic bridge no longer stands. When exactly this bridge building was demolished, unfortunately, we do not know.



Exclusive interview with the Lord Mayor of Frankfurt

Peter Feldmann talks to Skyline Atlas about the challenges of the City of Frankfurt, in particular with regard to urban development and housing. Mr. Feldmann talks about the planned Frankfurt district in the west of the city, outlines the development potential of the city of Frankfurt over the next fifteen years and takes a position on the development of ever more residential dwellings in the Main river metropolis.



Morgan Stanley apparently rents space in Frankfurt’s OmniTurm

Brexit is beginning to throw more and more concrete shadows ahead. This could become the first rental in Frankfurt, clearly partly due to Brexit: according to media reports, Morgan Stanley is to occupy several floors in the high-rise project OmniTurm. So far, it is unclear where Morgan Stanley would go if the planned UK exit from the EU would force a withdrawal of all staff from London.

Apparently, Morgan Stanley has now made a decision for concrete property in Frankfurt. According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), the US investment bank has rented 8,000 square meters of office space in the OmniTurm skyscraper, which is currently being built. These 8,000 square meters correspond to five or six of the 45 floors in the OmniTurm and thus almost a fifth of its nearly 44,000 square meters of office space.

The New York project developer Tishman Speyer, who has roots in Frankfurt, is currently building the mixed residential and office tower in the banking district on Großen Gallusstraße. Completion is due for the end of 2018.

Morgan Stanley currently resides in an office building on Junghofstrasse. Whether this location is later abandoned is as yet unclear.



Another high-rise building from Groß & Partner

Once again, the Frankfurt-based project developer, Groß & Partner is making a comeback. This time, Groß & Partner announces a 128-meter high hotel and office tower called “The Spin” for the freight yard. The design for the high-rise building comes from renowned architectural office, Hadi Teheran, which has been in competition with six other architects.

The location between Messe, Hauptbahnhof and Europaviertel is currently developing at a rapid pace; four other high-rise buildings will be built in parallel. “We see this location as a very attractive office location because of the excellent accessibility from all directions as well as the evolving, urban environment. There is already a healthy mix of established and new housing and a multitude of shopping and entertainment facilities so that companies can offer their employees a lot of options,” explains Nikolaus Bieber, managing partner of Groß & Partner. Construction work is scheduled to start in 2018, with completion scheduled for 2020.



Skyline Atlas in Famous German Bild Zeitung

On 18 July 2017, the Bildzeitung published a short report on the Skyline Atlas. The Skyline Atlas is a non-commercial information medium about high-rise building structures in Frankfurt am Main. Part of the publication of Bild was a short poem, written by Michael Wutzke:

You are so beautiful, You get my heart racing.
You’re shocking sometimes, but you fascinate me.
You draw me and others in under your spell. No, a woman, you are not.
And yet you have everything you need to shine bright.
Frankfurt, we love you.

Read article on Bild.de (in German language)

Hochhäuser Frankfurt Bild Zeitung Skyline


Development plans available

All relevant development plans regarding high-rise projects in Frankfurt are now available as an abstract in the Skyline Atlas. In the field of development plans, you will find all historical developments since the post-war period up to the high-rise development plans of the modern era. Further details, historical references and other original documents will be added in the coming months.



The Marienturm is slowly visible

The Marienturm at the Taunusanlage can be seen rising slowly in the Stadtraum. While the Marienforum, which is located on the Mainzer Landstraße, has already reached its full height at 10 floors, the first two upper floors appear at the Marienturm. The Marienturm is in a prominent position next to the T11, near the double towers of the Deutsche Bank. Their new dealer centre can also be found here. The Marienturm location is strategically located between the double towers and the dealer centre.

It remains to be seen whether Deutsche Bank AG’s relocation from London to Frankfurt will allow the bank to expand its capacity in the Marienturm.



Someone from Frankfurt is visiting London, skyscrapers and Brexit

The Skyline Atlas is dedicated to the search for bureaus and urban development. I made an on-site visit to London with an employee of J.P. Morgan:

It is a Saturday morning. I am flying British Airways from Frankfurt to London at 7.15. After more than an hour flight I arrived: I do not land in Heathrow this time, but in the middle of the city, at City Airport. It is only 7.25 am because of the new time zone.

I do not have any luggage, so I walk out of the terminal, get onto the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) and another 10 minutes later I am in the Docklands at Canary Wharf, one of the development areas here in London. My gaze sweeps over the many well-known towers: I can see the One Canada Square tower with its pyramid shape, as well as high-rise buildings with the logos of HSBC, Citi, J.P. Morgan and Barclays. So far so good.

Then I go to visit Paul. Paul is 35 years old, has lived in London for 7 years and works for investment bank, J.P. Morgan in Canary Wharf. He moved here a few months ago  from an area 15 minutes away. I stand in front of his house and look up. There are 25 floors and it looks all new. I type his apartment number into the keypad. The Doorman greets me kindly and I take the elevator to one of the top floors.

Paul opens the door with a warm smile and we hug: we’ve known each other for more than 10 years, when he was not even in London. I enter his designer apartment and look around. The place is full of Ikea – it works here as much as from a catalog and everything is brand new. I walk to the window front and look outside.

Before me lies Canary Wharf – he has the perfect overview from here. I am accustomed to high-rise buildings in Frankfurt and have always thought that it was doing quite well in Europe. Now I realise how massive the buildings in Canary Wharf actually are: most of the office buildings have at least twice or even three-fold the depth of high-rise buildings in Germany. Here in the UK there are laxer working regulations: the depth of high buildings does not force a narrow cubature. Therefore, the buildings, which are close to each other, are not only impressive but somewhat threatening at the same time. An impression which should be strengthened later.

Canary Wharf Bürogebiet Wolkenkratzer Brexit
Wolkenkratzer Krähne Bauen London
Docklands Luxusapartments Bauen

Paul tells me he is now the owner of his apartment. Renting would be outrageously expensive: an apartment of this size would be around £3,000 of net rent per month, plus a service fee of £200 for the porter and gym. Then I look around the area and I notice one thing in particular: cranes. Everywhere, there are cranes. On the horizon, behind the highway, across the road, in every direction. London is booming, there is no doubt about that.

Paul explains it to me. “What you see are residential towers going up everywhere. This is a new trend here in just the last few years.” Paul tells me that not even 500 meters away are eight residential buildings. All have at least 50 floors, some even scratch the 70th. “This is nothing.” he says to me and I begin to realise that London is very different from other cities.

After some small talk we get on our way. Not ten minutes later we are in the middle of Canary Wharf, the established office area. From here, the city of London is around half a tube stop away. Between the concrete monsters (the building masses cannot be called densely close here) people disappear and look like tiny ants. I feel queasy and wonder why so many people work in this gloominess. We turn the corner and stand in front of the EMA building, which I did not know about until a few months ago; it has only became known to most people because of all the press since Brexit. The EMA (European Medical Agency) is one of the European Union agencies, which, together with the EBA (European Banking Authority), will soon be leaving Canary Wharf and heading towards the mainland. My eyes glide to the right and suddenly I see only construction sites. Here a skyscraper, there a high-rise, here is simply built: “Again, all these skyscrapers will contain apartments.” I only think, “These towers are loosely 150 meters high, if not higher”. I’m taking photos, and I do not know what to shoot first. I start to count, but after some time I realise that it is almost impossible. There must be dozens of residential buildings that have either just been completed or are being built, just at this small location next to Canary Wharf.

“There is a lot of money in the market. Most of the apartments are sold to foreign investors“ says Paul. Not all apartments are occupied. Perhaps this is just a coincidence, or there are no tenants. Be that as it may, the building boom does not stop here. At least for the moment.

Canary Wharf Expansion Baustelle

London is experiencing a construction boom at the moment. More than 150 high-rise buildings are under construction in the entire urban area. I want to know from Paul what he thinks of Brexit. Paul is a native Pole and his facial expression reveals everything: “I cannot believe it. Nobody here does. We are hoping that this is a big mistake and it can be reverted.” Paul explains he is very satisfied with his job in the American bank. He would be reluctant to leave. If J.P. Morgan would recommend him to another city, of course, he would consider it. Some of his colleagues from Europe have already said goodbye.

We continue through the Docklands and land in the chic, newly-opened Novotel Tower. We head to the 38th floor and the elevator doors open. The humming of decent Housemusik welcomes us and we enter the viewset with lounge character. Hipster, top-earners and tourists mix here. This does not feel like the xth bar, but here the stay is celebrated. We enter the roomy glass façades and look over the city. Cranes. Everywhere, cranes for new high-rise buildings. I take more photos. We want to sit down, but no table is free: “Sorry, all the tables are reserved.” Funny, because it is Saturday afternoon, just after 4 pm. We see a staircase, and stroll up it. Now the music sounds more electronic, but is still discreet. This is the well-designed restaurant area and here you feel immediately welcomed. A couple leave and we grab a table at the window.

In the distance you can see the city, recognisable by its landmark buildings like the Shard or the Gherkin. Only now is the dime with me. London is not just a big city like Berlin or Madrid: London is the melting pot at present, a “place to be”. But the whole area of construction also has its shadows: I miss trees and nature in the cityscape of London, and I do not mean isolated trees here and there, but parks which are close to the centre, like in German cities. Then I think back to my hometown of Frankfurt and at that moment I am really looking forward to being back home soon. Our cities have a different quality of life, but are far more manageable.



City of Frankfurt is checking high-rise façades

The city of Frankfurt am Main is due to check the façades of all high-rise buildings for fire safety, specifically those built before 1983. But first, a spokesman for the Frankfurt Building Department has said it is to be determined which of the 540 high-rise buildings in Frankfurt were built before 1984. It was only afterwards that the city began to ask the operators of the building whether the façades contained combustible material.



CA Immo is building Tower One Frankfurt – New Skyscraper at the Trade Fair Area

In regards of the Tower One the wait has come to an end.

In a statement today, the Austrian real estate company, CA Immo announced the erection of a 190-meter office and hotel high-rise building in Hochhausmetrole, Frankfurt with tower “ONE” (project name: Tower One Frankfurt). Construction is still due to begin in summer, finishing around the beginning of 2021. A long-term lease agreement with the NH Hotel Group – which will operate a hotel with the lifestyle brand, Nhow, with 375 rooms from the outset – has already been signed, as the CA Immo announced.

In the 49-storey building with a gross floor area of ​​around 85,000 square meters, the four-star superior hotel will occupy 14 floors at almost a third of the area. Two other storeys are designed as co-working areas. Furthermore, the construction of around 600 bicycles and 470 parking spaces is planned, 24 of them with an electric charging station. The planned high-rise is located in the Europaviertel right next to the Tower 185.

How do you find the architecture of the tower ONE?
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Dining in the air – Henninger Turm 2017

The view restaurant in the new Henninger Turm is to open somewhat later than planned. According to operator, Mook Group, the opening was originally planned for the middle of the fourth quarter of 2017.

The opening of the viewing terrace, on the other hand, was accounced to take place earlier: from the end of September 2017, visitors were proposed to see the perfect view of the Frankfurt skyline from the 38th floor.

Status January 2018: The restaurant has still not opened. According to newspaper reports, it is not yet clear when the opening will take place.

Status May 2018: An insider tells the Skyline Atlas that the planned restaurant in the head of the Henninger Turm will not open until late summer 2018 due to “ongoing construction work”. Access will then be possible via a separate entrance area/own elevator.

Status Autumn 2018: The restaurant has been opened.

What are the top reasons when you think about the new restaurant in the Henninger Turm?


New building to be constructed at Toys’R’Us Center

At the end of June 2017, there is now a green light for a project of the investor, Michael Dietrich, who, according to the plans of the architect, Christoph Mäckler – along the Berliner Strasse in Offenbach – will build a complex, consisting of two buildings. The project will be built on the site of today’s Toys’R’Us Centre, directly at the Offenbacher Marktplatz.

The high-rise building in the middle of the new complex marks a quarter square, which in turn forms the entrance to a footpath to Ziegelstrasse. The planned high-rise is to have 14 floors and serve residential purposes.



New City District for Frankfurt Planned in the Northwest

Frankfurt is finally deciding to expand in order to allow for further growth of inhabitants, with a new city district now revealed. Mayor Peter Feldmann (SPD) presented the proposal of the Roman coalition of CDU, SPD and Greens for the location of the new district. In the west of the Frankfurt city area, the new district could be built on a 550 hectare area on both sides of the A5 motorway. The area would be adjacent to the suburbs of Niederursel and Praunheim and end at the city boundaries of Eschborn and Steinbach.

Of this some 190 hectares of building land, according to the city of Frankfurt, between 8.550 and 11.400 new apartments can be created. Further studies on the construction site provision are to follow, announced planning director, Mike Josef. This is also to keep land prices at the current level to prevent speculation.

In the meantime, numerous reservations have been voiced, as is often the case with such projects in Germany. In particular, the FDP in Steinbach reacted negatively to the plans. The politicians in Steinbach see no chance there, but want to preserve old areas. It does not recognise that cities are developing further: villages will become settlements, villages will become municipalities, municipalities will become cities and cities will become metropolises. In this sense, a dense, lively district with a potential to stay long-term would have to be created in Frankfurt West. Please do not just row houses and a sleeping town – there are already enough in the surrounding area!

A further development of places was met and applies to all municipalities. Steinbach cannot escape this development in terms of Frankfurt’s new district. Especially in metropolitan areas, urban and community boundaries become increasingly irrelevant because people experience the region as a whole: you live in Steinbach, go to the cinema in Eschborn, visit festivals in Frankfurt or wander through the Odenwald. Steinbach is just like Frankfurt Rhine-Main, as Eschborn belongs to Dreieich. Without Frankfurt, Steinbach would be nothing. Without Offenbach, Frankfurt would be worse. This is what people really feel!

Administrative boundaries are a relic of the last century and have less and less to do with our networked reality and Nbsp; we should all be happy when progress and development enriches our lives. However, the development of the Frankfurt region should not only take place on a selective basis in the Frankfurt West, but also in other locations. If one travels with the S1 from Offenbach to Frankfurt, for example, one actually goes past vegetable fields (!!!!), not near the ECB. One wonders, why is it not possible to create housing, workplaces or at least park and play facilities, which can then also be used by the growing population. We can grow vegetables outside!

Phorio: The cities of Eschborn, Steinbach and Frankfurt.



New high-rises in Frankfurt

You’re looking for ‘new high-rises in Frankfurt?’ Then you’ve come to the right place! In the Skyline Atlas, all new high-rise projects are presented in Frankfurt, not just with individual texts and pictures. Rather, the editorial team provides specialist information for architects, engineers, real estate companies, the general public and ‘high-rise fans’.

For a long time the construction of tall buildings in Frankfurt was controversial. During the Frankfurt Housing Fights (“Frankfurter Häuserkampf”) in the early 1970s, even shameful names emerged as the epitome of a city map, which promoted investor interests to the detriment of the old-established population. Since the 1980s, ever higher and more beautiful high-rise buildings were built and new towers emerged here. The Frankfurt skyline became a symbol of the city, and of prosperity and future orientation. The population increasingly identified itself with the skyline, which became a huge part of the image for the banking city. Since 1996, the ‘Skyscraper Festival’ has also been celebrated at irregular intervals, once initiated by the former Lord Mayor Petra Roth.

So what does Frankfurt look like today?

In 2017, Frankfurt will have a new beginning. More and more high-rise projects are under construction or are being planned. As of October 2017, 16 high-rise buildings are already under construction, with a further 26 high-rise projects announced. The high-rise buildings are also getting taller and taller here. Frankfurt has now crossed the ‘critical mass’ of necessary high-rise buildings, so a cluster formation at several locations is now perceptible.



Foundation laid officially at OmniTurm

On 31 May 2017, the official foundation stone of the Omni tower on the New Mainzerstrasse took place. Participants included project developer, Tishman Speyer from New York City, as well as the architect, Bjarke Ingels. Frankfurt’s planning representative, Mike Josef (SPD) said “the Omniturm was a high-rise, as we imagine it as a city”. At the time, the upper-house plan had already stipulated that higher construction should be possible if, in addition to offices, housing would also be created. This “vertical use mix” is now being implemented for the first time in high-rise building. For their long-term vision, the deputy former mayoress, Petra Roth (CDU), thanked the Planungsdezernent.

The OmniTurm brings momentum to Frankfurt’s banking district. The exceptional design by Danish architect, Bjarke Ingels mixes apartments with office space and public use to bring more life to the skyline. The residential areas are pushed to the middle of the 45-storey high-rise building; “A high-rise with hip swing” was the title of the press when the plans were presented.

Looking at the latest rendering (see picture above), it is noticeable how huge clustering is created with the Taunus Tower and Omni Tower at this point. It is worth knowing that with the completion of the Omni Tower, the first street crossroads in Europe will be built in Frankfurt, with four high-rise buildings each with a height of at least 100 meters.

Photos of construction situation of OmniTurm are available on Phorio.

Rendering: Bjarke Ingels Architekten/OmniTurm



Mike Josef wants to restrict high-rise buildings

The Frankfurt-based planning representative, Mike Josef (SPD) intends to allow new high-rise developments in Frankfurt only in clearly defined areas. As is apparent from various press publications in the last few days, “speculation” is to be counteracted. The new high-rise plan, which is to be presented next year, is intended to cement appropriate development requirements. The planning company would like to end the current practice of the city of Frankfurt (also in exceptional cases) to approve planned high-rise locations . Experts from the real estate consider this decision to be incorrect because it conflicts with established planning practices. Modern high-rise apartments are only to be financed by high-earning workers, and these sites would not be in competition with favourable residential areas.

Since the beginning of his term, Mike Josef has been able to look back on insignificant developments relevant to urban policy. Instead of opting for the expulsion of expansions, the aim is to make flickering decisions, only to be recompressed, thus wasting valuable time in expanding the city. The decision for the restriction of high-rise buildings distracts from the actual challenges of urban planning tasks. Mike Josef would do better to position for expansion so that housing can become affordable. The city of Frankfurt is lucky that the former planning officer, Dr. Martin Wentz, with foresight, launched numerous large-scale urban projects that still benefit the city. Mr. Wentz has left great urban planning footprints, of which none of his successors in office has so far only been able to follow.

A restriction of high-rise buildings will not lead to the relief of the middle value in housing, but most likely again only a piece of the puzzle, which promotes a scarcity of surfaces. Voters will not reward this policy in times of increasingly expensive housing, few kindergartens, missing schools, poor public transport facilities and expensive parking spaces. The city of Frankfurt must finally act strategically!

Photo: The ECB’s high-rise building was built at a location that was not included in a high-rise development plan and had a lasting impact on the overall development of the east of Frankfurt.

Phorio: All the high-rise buildings in Frankfurt am Main

Should the city of Frankfurt provide binding high-rise locations?


Project Island Tip Quarter is now specified

The quarter of the Island Tip (“Inselspitze”) in the port of Offenbach is beginning to take shape. Project developer, Deutsche Wohnwerte und Endinvestor Gustav Zech Foundation have been selected as builders.

An ensemble of three high-rise buildings (a 75 m high hotel tower, a 62 m high office tower and a 40 m high office building) are being built in Offenbach. The ensemble will set a spectacular ending point under the transformation of the former industrial road at the Offenbach port. The district will be developed and built by Gustav Zech Stiftung (Bremen) and Deutsche Wohnwerte Gmbh &  Co. KG (Heidelberg) in collaboration with architects, Schneider + Schumacher (Frankfurt) and landscape planner, Ramboll Studio Dreiseitl (Überlingen). Dockers are the co-working provider of DESIGN OFFICES from Nuremberg, as well as the Bremen ATLANTIC hotel group.

The Gustav Zech Foundation will keep the project realised. This was confirmed by Offenbach’s Mayor Horst Schneider with the two managing directors of OPG Offenbacher Projektentwicklungsgesellschaft mbH and Mainviertel Offenbach GmbH & Co. KG, Daniela Matha and Annette Schroeder-Rupp at a press conference with the selected bidders’ association on Friday (May 19, 2017).

The project can be found on Phorio:
Kap I
Kap II

Photo: Schneider + Schumacher Architekten



Construction works suspended at Onyx high-rise

As reported by the Hessenschau TV show, the construction costs on the high-rise project, Onyx in the Westend have exploded, and the originally set construction time has been exceeded. The client has been declared bankrupt and an insolvency administrator has been appointed. Two thirds of the condominiums have been sold so far and the remainder is about to be completed.

More details about the Onyx high-rise can be found at Phorio:



New Office for Construction and Real Estate starts

Sylvia Weber and city councillor, Jan Schneider have announced the upcoming reform of the administration during two meetings at the Department of Property Management, and the School Administrators and Municipal Cleaning Staff,

During intensive consultations and preparatory work, it was decided that areas of school development planning, the implementation of phase 0, the definition of space and space standards for schools and day care centres, budgeting and user acceptance would be settled at the end of the construction project in the municipal school. The department has agreed that 92 full-time equivalents – the full-time positions of the current Department of Property Management – will in future be located in the new ABI, and 47 posts will remain in the municipal school. “Securing the operational and planning security of the department in the future is also of great importance, in light of the growing number of pupils,” stated Weber.

The Office for Construction and Real Estate, on the other hand, will, in the future, assume all tasks beyond all lifecycle phases of a building and complete property management. It is thus responsible for the basic analysis, planning, construction, operation and the possible demolition of buildings. In the future, the respective offices and companies will commission the ABI (also the owner) to build or renovate buildings within the framework of a coordinated budget. Another new feature will be one unit within the ABI that will now be responsible for the entire operational phase of building management. In this way, building maintenance, as well as the testing of buildings and any required tenant support can be covered. The ABI is thus the point of contact for all issues relating to property questions for the municipal school, other municipal offices, companies and users.

In this area, most of the employees will be transferred to the Office for Construction and Real Estate by the City Council. However, in principle it is mainly open to the employees interested in other areas of the future office for construction and real estate.

“In the real estate management department of the municipal school, an interest-seeking procedure will be carried out from the end of May to clarify which employees would like to work in the new ABI and who wants to remain in the municipal school,” says Weber. The voluntary nature of the decision is thus guaranteed.

The colleagues in school house administration and cleaning will in future all be part of the new ABI, but neither in their area of ​​responsibility nor in their place of work, nor in their grouping, will anything change: “Together with the Department of Construction and Real Estate, we have also developed a two-stage qualification concept, which enables further development in the area of ​​facility management,” said Councillor Weber. The continuing education as a “state-certified building manager” at the Philipp-Holzmann school will also remain open to all interested parties.

City Councilor Schneider affirms that the issue of qualification is an important issue for the future office for construction and real estate, which is why a qualification concept for all functions within the ABI will soon be drawn up.

Schneider adds: “The combination of the two large offices, the real estate office and the building construction department, as well as the integration of real estate-relevant areas of other offices and businesses, such as the Stadtschulamt, naturally also have different working cultures. We have considered this in the project and therefore planned to begin a joint cultural development process for the new organisation, with the founding of ABI, in which each employee will be involved.” He continues: “I am convinced that we will be able to start on 1st November. We have created very strong foundations for this project with the committed cooperation of many participating offices and staff representations, so that the Office for Construction and Real Estate will be the competent contact for building and real estate for the city of Frankfurt am Main in the future, and so Frankfurt can be built faster and more efficiently. ”

“The schedule is ambitious, but creative.” both departments agree.

“We are approachable for suggestions and questions from the employees and will, in close consultation with the local staff councils and the entire staff council, make the transition as clear and easy as possible for all participants,” said Councillor Weber.



Addition high-rise to be constructed at Neue Mainzer?

As Frankfurt’s Neue Presse (FNP) reports today, the plans for a new high-rise building on Neue Mainzer Strasse 57-59 are likely to be put back on the table. This could mean a long-term stay for the unsightly corner of Junghofstraße / Neue Mainzer Strasse. According to the FNP, Frankfurter Sparkasse plans to revive the 16-year-old plans for a high-rise building first mentioned in 1822. The plans are at the hand of the architectural office, KSP Engel und Zimmermann.

This development, however, is not really surprising. Firstly, the city expects an increase in demand following the reallocation of many office buildings in residential buildings, and the freedom provided by falling numbers of offices. Secondly, the interest rates are favourable, the client is in liquidation and mainly has outdated office space in the banking district.

If you are looking at the animations of the planned project “Four” or visited the project exhibition in March 2017, you will not miss the fact that the tower targeted by the Frankfurter Sparkasse was already drawn, as it was taken for granted! (see title picture)

Photo: Skyline Atlas (taken during the exhibition regarding the “Four” project in March 2017)



Petra Roth is now an honorary citizen

The former mayor of Frankfurt, Petra Roth (CDU), was awarded the honorary citizenship of the City of Frankfurt on 23 March 2017 by a large majority of the town council. This is the highest award that the City of Frankfurt has to award. Her successor, Lord Mayor Peter Feldmann (SPD), put forward Roth for the honour. The vote took place in a non-public session. The document is to be handed over to Petra Roth in a ceremony in the Emperor’s Hall.

The award has been seen by some citizens as a controversial one, as, among other issues, it was during Mrs. Roth’s term of office that the divisive expansion of Frankfurt Airport through the Nordwestbahn (north western runway) took place.

Petra Roth, with this award, stands alongside other honorary citizens, such as Helmut Kohl, Albert Schweitzer, Theodor Heuss, Max Horkheimer and Frances Mitterrand. This award has only previously been granted once to a woman, to Trude Simonsohn.

Born in Bremen, Petra Roth was Lord Mayor over several terms, including 1997-199 and 2002-2005, and from 2009-2011, was also President of the Deutsches Städtetag. During this time, Mrs Roth committed herself to the preservation of trade tax, which each municipality decided independently. In 2013, Mrs. Roth was appointed honorary member of the German town council.

Photo: Petra Roth in 2001 (City of Frankfurt)



‘Talk Walks’ to make city planning developments more accessible

On March 23, 2017, Mike Josef presented a new medium for urban planning. With an audio walk, ‘Talk Walk’, Frankfurt and visitors will be able to find out about urban development topics free of charge during an inner city walk at 15 stations.

“The new audio walk leads through Frankfurt’s inner city to prominent places, where rapid changes and challenges are discussed,” explains Josef. “These are essentially themes that we have already named in the inner city concept and which are characteristic for Frankfurt. The talk walk brings out discussions on topics of building culture and urban development to concrete places. There are several local experts along the route. Thus, the topics are viewed from different angles.”

Frankfurt is very unlike other German cities of a similar size, as it is characterised by persistent population growth and an enormous urban dynamism. This is especially evident in the centre, where the make-up of the inner-city is presented as a result of this growth. The dynamic work ethic here also formulates goals for city repairs, as well as further exciting development of the centre.

Renowned and expert talk partners could help the success of the audio walk to Frankfurt’s city centre, which will be distributed to 15 stations of the inner-city walk. Currently on board are: Planning speaker, Mike Josef, map architect, Martin Hunscher, architects, Jochem Jourdan and Christoph Mäckler, real estate contractor, Rainer Ballwanz, pastor, Andrea Braunberger-Myers Radermacher, as well as Nils Schalk and Jörg Stellmacher-Hein from the city planning office.

The Audiowalk begins at the Opera Square. Along a route of about four and a half kilometers, and 14 further stations. Each listening station is self-contained; the walk can thus be completed in stages, if desired. The ‘Talk Walk’ was designed by walk researcher, Bertram Weisshaar, who has already designed several publicly-run green belt walks for the Frankfurt Environmental Office.

The Talk Walk can be downloaded free of charge from their website and then played on mobile phones or MP3 players: http://www.talk-walks.de. Smartphone users can take advantage of the mobile-optimised features of the website, such as a GPS map and mobile download without having to install the app.

Screenshot: talk-walks.de



New Frankfurt Towers now starting

Offenbach is now Frankfurt. Frankfurt is now Offenbach! On the border to Oberrad, just off Offenbacher Gemarkung, are due to be built about 570 apartments with a connected market place. A building permit has now been awarded for ‘New Frankfurt Towers’.

With an investment of 300 million euros, the project developer, CG Group from Berlin wants to establish the project entitled “New Frankfurt Towers”, the area where they have been working in Frankfurt for two years. The group has now received the building permit for the first construction phase on the site between Berliner Strasse and Strahlenbergerstrasse in Offenbach. Work is expected to begin in March 2017. The project is to be completed by the end of December 2019.

Part of the ‘New Frankfurt Towers’ project is the revitalisation and complete interior decoration of two hitherto vacant administrative buildings, which are being transformed into apartment houses. Furthermore, a new high-rise building wof about 20 floors is being built. Photo: CG Group AG

Phorio: Buildings in Offenbach and Buildings in Frankfur



New high-rise flyer available

The Department of Planning and Living has published the 5th edition of the Hochhaus-Faltblattes. The map of the current issue, “Hochhäuser in Frankfurt” shows a total of 66 high-rise building projects under construction, with eight projects in the central urban area – over 60 meters high. 28 selected projects are described on the back of the map. Each of these include two images and a building split.

The card can be bought for one euro directly from the city centre during opening hours: Tuesday and Thursday from 8.30 to 12.30.



RFR presents the concept for the High-Rise at the Park

The concept for the facade design of the Hochhaus am Park (“High-Rise at the Park”) was presented by RFR Holding GmbH (RFR). The glass façade of the double tower, which was created in the early 1970s, is divided into two visually separated and transparent facades. The builder – a project company led by the RFR – will start the initial clear-out as early as April 2017. The Frankfurt-based company is expecting the start of official construction in the summer of this year. Completion is scheduled for the end of 2019.

On the area between Fürstenbergstraße, Grüneburgweg and Wolfsgangstraße, around 130 properties are being built on approximately 19,000 m² of floor space, of which one floor is also a living space. In addition, there are about 140 hotel rooms on almost 13,000 m² in the second tower. The revitalised Hochhaus am Park also includes a children’s playground, which will be open to all the children in the West End, not just the future high-rise residents. The same applies to the planned restaurants and food facilities there. The surrounding green spaces, including the Mitscherlich square, will undergo a complete reconstruction. Here, the owner has already established contact with the local Mitscherlich initiative through the city administration, which is involved in the reconstruction.

A representative for the client, Dr. Alexander Koblischek, is convinced that the revitalisation will lead to a further appreciation of the district: “We currently have a somewhat attractive high-rise building from the 1970s in the middle of the West End. With our concept, we will significantly improve this situation. The new façade is simple, elegant and at the same time, modern. The high-rise building will be integrated into the cityscape of the West End. In addition, we achieve a completely new sense of space through the visual separation of two individual towers. The additional investments in the green surrounding areas of ​​the Hochhaus am Park increase quality of life for all Westendigen residents. ”

The client attaches great importance to intelligent noise protection and construction site logistics: “It is only when the inner work is completed that we remove the façade. In this way, we are considerably reducing the noise level, as the noise, in particular the shell work, is largely retained in the building, ” explains Dr. Koblischek. This so-called ‘just-in-time’ approach is used for construction site logistics. The supply of the necessary building materials is made exclusively on a need-by-need basis. This means that there is no space occupied by intermediate storage. “Through our approach, the impact on local road traffic remains low. The building fence is only built on the grounds of the Hochhaus am Park. There are therefore no permanent restrictions on the walkways.” says Dr. Koblischek.

In addition to high standards for noise protection, the client is primarily responsible for direct communication with the residents during the entire construction period: “It is clear to us that construction work in such a densely populated residential area is not easy for local residents. That is why we are looking for a direct dialogue with them to respond appropriately if necessary.” says Dr. Koblischek. A construction site hotline will be set up, which will allow suggestions and complaints. In addition, local residents will receive regular information on the progress of the construction measures, through informative events and household e-mails.



Foundation stone is laid today at the Marienturm

On February 24 2017, the foundation stone was laid for the 155m-tall Marienturm and the smaller Marienforum. The duo are being built directly at the Taunusanlage, in close proximity to the twin towers of Deutsche Bank AG. The ‘nautical skyscraper’ with 38 storeys is scheduled to be completed by the beginning of 2019, with the Marienforum already in early 2018. Both buildings are expected to offer around 57 square meters of rental space.

Photo: Mayor Peter Feldmann, Thomas Müller, architect, Markus Brod, developer Pecan Development (from left to right) – provided by the City of Frankfurt



Bundesbank is planning a new high-rise building at the headquarters

Bundesbank plans a new high-rise building at head office, The Bundesbank, to strengthen its headquarters in Ginnheim. The previous main building, designed by ABB Apel, Beckert and Becker from 1967 to 1972, will be renovated in the coming years. The Bundesbank is already looking for an alternative location for the construction work to be launched by 2018.

Regardless of the renovation of the main building, the Bundesbank is planning a concentration of its workforce at the head office. To date, employees have been distributed to several locations within Frankfurt, such as in the Trianon high-rise building.

As Skyline Atlas learned, talks are already taking place between the Bundesbank and representatives of the City of Frankfurt to identify the headquarters as a high-rise quarter. It is generally expected that proof of residential space will be required for this purpose and that the Bank’s wish for the centralisation of its employees will be met. According to reports, the new high-rise building on the premises of the Bundesbank will be 36 storeys high and werected at the site of the guest house.


LEAKED – Mid of July 2017: As reported by the Skyline Atlas from an informant, the planned high-rise building at the Bundesbank’s headquarters is apparently not currently approved. The Bundesbank was stung by this, not least because of the European Central Bank at its headquarters in Frankfurt’s Osthafen. Background: The location of the Bundesbank has not yet been defined in the current high-rise development plan and would be in conflict with an announcement by the planning councillor to only allow new high-rise buildings at previously identified locations. It is unclear whether the new high-rise development plan for 2018 will take the Bundesbank’s Ginnheimer location into account.



Deutsche Bank Area: Winner Decided at Architectural Competition

The winner of an architectural competition from project developer, Gross & Partner for the new design of the former Deutsche Bank area has been declared: the architectural office, UNStudio from Amsterdam unanimously won the award. The second and third prizes went to the applicants’ associations Dudler / Jahn and MSW / Snohetta respectively. The design by Christoph Mäckler / CoopHimmelblau also received special recognition.

The challenge in this design was to create a mixed-use, urban city quarter, consisting of four high-rise buildings and a multi-storey connecting pedestal building, covering retail, restaurants, hotels and housing. The project will also include 8,000 square meters of floor space according to the funding programs of the city of Frankfurt am Main and the State of Hesse.

With this project, the Frankfurt skyline will be extended and redefined by four high-rise buildings. The tallest of the towers will reach a height of 228 meters. For those who would like to see the contributions of all architects, from March 4, 2017 to March 18, 2017 they will be exhibited at Junghofstraße 11 on the former Deutsche Bank premises.

Photo credits: (c) UNStudio



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.



Architecture vs Investors?

Real estate investors see buildings mainly as investments that must yield profits. The fact that investment in the construction sector is so very profitable is not a matter of course.

To do this, construction on the market has to meet demand, both in terms of its quality and price. For investors, therefore, capital is merely a means of production which, like a machine, must function and produce what it needs to: namely, yield.

The business is very risky, because the chances of making a good profit are great only if you are willing to risk a lot.

In order to be successful, investors need to get everything they need out of their projects. Risk management plays a major role in this process and provides the decisive competitive advantage compared to traditional investors. For the builders, risks and profitability already begin with the acquisition of a plot of land. If the business is to be interesting, the value of the soil must rise above the expected normal.

As far as construction costs are concerned, the profits are basically the difference between what investors are willing to pay for the services they claim, and what they achieve on the basis of the usual market prices themselves for the objects they produce.

The ability to make this difference and to make it as large as possible is one reason for the profitability of its operation, and a further advantage compared to construction production, such as the public sector. It also plays an important role in the allocation of planning contracts to architects and the remuneration of their work. In comparison, the architectural quality of a design is no more than one of many factors of the second order. In fact, the lucrative nature of a project depends only a limited extent on the efficiency of the groundwork and the economy of the construction. What can be earned by clever financing, scheduling and marketing is still much more than what can be achieved by a great deal of planning effort. In this respect too, the architectural form plays only a limited role in yield building. Their weight grows only where they have a positive effect on the long-term placement of the buildings.



Hello, Frankfurt!

The time is right for the Skyline Atlas!

Today, with the Skyline Atlas, a project I’ve wanted to realise for many years is being launched online: an editorial information site about high-rise buildings in Frankfurt am Main – the city in which I live and work. There are many good reasons for the Skyline Atlas. On the one hand, I would like to make available previously missing and detailed information about high-rise buildings and urban development to a broad readership. I would also like to show the world what happens in Frankfurt and what new developments there are. The skyline Atlas is ultimately, in the coming years, to become an online compendium.

As the main author of the Skyline Atlas, I have dealt extensively with topics on urban development in Frankfurt for some 20 years. I have published several publications, newspaper interviews, and been involved in a number of enquiries from companies concerning real estate and construction information. In addition, I look at the progress of numerous construction projects every week. I am well connected and would like to make this knowledge available to everyone free of charge with the Skyline Atlas.

If you are interested in an editorial collaboration with the Skyline Atlas and would like to research or write content, you can contact us . You can of course also submit suggestions and corrections to individual pages.

And now I wish you a lot of fun reading and a warm welcome!

Yours, Michael Wutzke



GEG buys former Commerzbank high-rise and develops it again

GEG German Estate Group AG, Frankfurt, has now acquired the former Commerzbank Hochhaus (Neue Mainzer Strasse 32-36, Frankfurt / Main) from Commerzbank AG and is developing it as a ‘GlobalTower’.

Built in 1974, the Hochhaus is a classic among the Frankfurt office buildings. With around 30,000 sqm of rental space, the GEG portfolio is another attractive landmark property. At the end of 2017, GEG will strip the building, completely rebuild it and remarket it exclusively as a ‘Global Tower’ on the Frankfurt office market. The total investment volume is over EUR 220 million.

The pbb Deutsche Pfandbriefbank accompanies the transaction, as broker company, JLL has advised.

Ulrich Höller, Chairman of the Board of Management of GEG: “With the repositioning as a ‘Global Tower’, we are creating a first-class, modern space offer with one of the most famous ‘Frankfurt Classics’ in an exposed top position.”

Commerzbank used the building as its corporate centre until 1997. Since 2004, the site has no longer  been used and instead been sub-let.



Photo archive digitised

From old to new

Before the digital revolution spread in the form of high-resolution photos, the author of the SKYLINE ATLAS had taken a lot of pictures. Thousands of photographs were created, which have now been digitised in full resolution, many years after they were first taken. The archives thus contain unique images of Frankfurt from the past. The construction of numerous high-rise buildings, for example, was documented monthly.

The digitalised photo archive of the SKYLINE ATLAS (with photos taken between 1996 and 2003) has now been uploaded and is available exclusively at Phorio. All other photographs taken from the SKYLINE ATLAS – already available digitally – were also published by Phorio. This means that more than 100,000 photo captures can be accessed there alone by the SKYLINE ATLAS.



RFR is re-developing Hochhaus am Park

RFR Holding GmbH (RFR) have bought the ‘Hochhaus am Park’, located in the Frankfurt district of West End. The building is located in the immediate vicinity of Goethe University, between Fürstenbergstraße, Grüneburgweg and Wolfgangstraße.

The property, with a total rent area of ​​32,000 m², was previously used as an office building, but is currently empty. Due to high demand, RFR sees high potential for a conversion to residential and hotel use. In the smaller of the two square towers, at 13,000 m², up to 140 hotel rooms are to be created. The eastern tower, with a height of 96 meters and 19,000 m² of rental space, could offer around 100 properties. 180 parking spaces are planned for the existing underground car park. The cubature of the property should not change.



Planted residential high-rise Tower 90 gets hanging gardens

For the 13,700 m² plot at the entrance to Frankfurt’s Europaviertel, the former Telenorma site, an ideas contest was launched at the beginning of the year. The 90m high ‘Tower 90’ for the Berliner gsp Städtebau was the main object of interest.

The proposal of the architectural firms, Jahn (Chicago) and Magnus Kaminiarz & Cie. (Frankfurt) won first place in a competition for a new project in the Frankfurt Europaviertel with its hanging gardens. A second place was not awarded. Ferdinand Heide Architekt BDA and KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten took third place.



Groß und Partner is developing four high-rise buildings in the banking district

Four high-rise buildings will be built on the site and will form a new, urban quarter. Two of the towers are planned for living space, with other areas for catering and retail. Due to the special location in the middle of the skyline – also adjacent to the shopping and pedestrian zones of the city centre – the project has the potential to create a unique form of cosmopolitan urbanity in Germany. This is the result of the urban development competition which the owner of the site, the Groß Partner, Grundstücksentwicklungsgesellschaft mbH won in November 2015.

Two office towers, two residential towers and a diverse neighborhood mix

This project has special architectural significance because of the planned 228-meter-high main tower in the district. In the immediate vicinity of the Commerzbank Tower and the Maintower, a new high-rise building with 59 floors will be a further addition to the Frankfurt skyline, with the potential to enrich the high-rise area as another landmark. This tower is already outlined in the current development plan. The two residential buildings are new, and together will provide space for more than 600 apartments. In addition, there will be a children’s playground, two hotels and a wide range of restaurants and shops.