New Green Office Tower NION to be built in Europaviertel

In the Europaviertel on the site of the formerly planned Porsche Design Tower, a green office building with a height of over 100 meters is being built under the name NION. The design comes from the renowned architectural firm UNStudio from Amsterdam, which also planned the FOUR Frankfurt. The NION will occupy the last remaining vacant space in the Europaviertel, directly opposite the Sparda Bank Tower currently under construction. Frankfurt-based project developer Groß & Partner acquired the approximately 3,200-square-meter site next to the prominent water tower in September 2020 and has since been pushing ahead with plans for a green office building. Originally, the Porsche Design Tower, an exclusive high-rise residential building approximately 80 meters high, was planned for the site.

For the new office tower, a restricted competition was held with eight architectural firms. UNStudio emerged as the winner, Grüntuch Ernst Architekten also secured first place and Stefano Boeri Architekten from Milan, who designed the prominent Bosco Verticale, received an award.

NION (left) and Sparda Bank Tower (right)

Greening on the Facade and in the Interior

A special feature of the new high-rise building is its intensive greening. On the south side there will be a public park, which will be continued vertically along the building. The atrium will also be greened and will have a planting of mainly evergreens and deciduous trees. Completed by hanging plants from the upper floors, the atrium will resemble an interior forest, according to the design. The base building and the south terraces of the NION will be completely landscaped, dominated by native plantings of deciduous shrubs, small trees and perennials. The planting on the north side of the high-rise building will consist mainly of shade plants, which are also resistant to the harsh climate at height. The south side facing the sun, on the other hand, will receive a more mixed and colorful planting. The interior of the building is also dominated by greenery, although here the plant atmosphere is more artificial than on the exterior facades.


After the EDEN Tower, the NION will thus be the second high-rise building in Frankfurt with a green facade. The use of geothermal energy in combination with the building’s own electricity generation by means of photovoltaic facades is intended to ensure that the building is operated in a way that conserves resources. Frankfurt‘s head of planning, Mike Josef, also praised the winning design’s “strong integration of the surrounding public spaces.” Furthermore, the NION “creates a link between Europaallee and the future park and thus between the new Europaviertel and the existing Gallusviertel,” says Josef.

The high-rise will be designed with a flexible skeletal structure in classic reinforced concrete construction. The shell will be built in advance and extended in modular construction. Completion of the NION is scheduled for early 2026.

Green Facades in Trend

Increasingly, greening is taking place not only on building roofs but also on high-rise facades. The Frankfurt planning department says: “We want to turn the Frankfurt skyline into a green silhouette.” The SKYLINE ATLAS explains the advantages and disadvantages of facade greening on high-rise buildings.

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