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High-rise cluster in Frankfurt - high-rise group Europaviertel - aerial view high-rise group - clustering of skyscrapers - high-rise district Frankfurt

What is cluster formation?

A cluster is a relatively close concentration of high-rise buildings in a development area.

One benefit of building in clusters is that it places less burden on established urban districts, compared to dispersed development across a city. Additionally, bulk high-rise development takes up less space, can be easily accessible, and may combine uses like offices, apartments, hotels and shops. A cluster of high-rise buildings can only take place if there is sufficient demand.

Protests Against Investors

Construction of individual high-rise projects is the most common high-rise development pattern in German cities today. In Frankfurt, too, before 1990, high-rise buildings were mainly built locally and close to the city center.

Cluster formation is the opposite of selective uncoordinated development of high buildings. Uncoordinated high-rise development led to public disputes in the 1970s, forcing development of tall structures to be concentrated in business districts. The Financial District was an obvious choice: it had less resident population than surrounding areas and was already considered “tainted” in terms of urban planning.

High-Rise Areas in Frankfurt

Construction of the Commerzbank Tower in 1997 spurred massive concentration skyscrapers in the banking district. The tower, considered oversized at the time, overshadowed a neighboring high-rise, today’s Global Tower, only a few meters away. From the city government’s point of view, the so-called “cluster concept” seemed well received because there was no resistance from the public. This fueled the city’s fundamental openness to high-rise buildings. More towers were built close to one another in the Financial District, also more visually appealing than before, and here and there a tower became open to the public.

The economic boom finally brought a number of new high-rise locations to City West that were easily accessible by car. It was the era of the car-friendly city.

Planning for the European District was inspired by the economic boom and guided by experience from the Financial District. Several skyscrapers were planned in a small area around the Skyline Plaza shopping center.

Future Locations for High-Rise Buildings

For the construction of new high-rise buildings there is a rough compatibility pattern in Frankfurt today. The buildings must keep a “respectful distance” from large parts of the city center and the ramparts. The Bahnhofsviertel and Westend are taboo as high-rise locations. High-rise clusters should not compete with functioning neighborhoods, but rather complement them. The high-rise master plan regulates precisely where new high-rise buildings in Frankfurt are to be built.

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