The Deutsche Bundesbank Headquarters in Frankfurt’s Ginnheim district houses Germany’s national bank and its board of directors. The striking brutalist high-rise by architects ABB, built from 1967 to 1972, is 217 meters long, less than 17 meters wide, 54 meters high, and has 13 storeys. Several auxiliary buildings occupy the surrounding campus: the main cashiers’ desk, a guest house, a money museum, and some newer office buildings.
Two massive elevator shafts divide the Bundesbank High-Rise into three clear parts. Tension between vertical elevator towers and the horizontal facade grid enlivens the building’s proportions. The gray structural concrete is boldly exposed, with dark metal window bands recessed behind the grid. The building is so narrow that it’s described as a “disc” in architectural terms.
During construction the Bundesbank Board of Directors resolved to complement the architecture with uniformly modern artworks. Ultimately three architecture-related works were commissioned: an installation by Jesús Rafael Soto, an interior design by Victor Vasarely, and two large-format tapestries based on designs by Max Ernst. Additional artworks have also been added to the headquarters campus.
The main Bundesbank building is set for a multi-year total renovation starting in summer 2021 as part of the so-called “campus project”. During renovation, Bundesbank employees will work from the Frankfurter Büro Center (lit. “Frankfurt Office Center” – short form: FBC). The FBC, in turn, must be modernized in advance to meet the Bundesbank‘s interim needs, including conference rooms, a canteen, and a kindergarten. This move should actually haven taken place two years earlier.
In January 2017, Bundesbank announced that the main building would be comprehensively renovated from 2020 to 2027 and that one or more additional office buildings would be built on its property. In March 2018, Bundesbank announced a Europe-wide negotiation process with an integrated design concept, in which Frankfurt architect Ferdinand Heide emerged as the winner. On this basis, an architectural competition was held, from which Swiss architecture firm Morger Partner Architekten AG was selected.
Bundesbank also occupies space in numerous other buildings in Frankfurt. At the Taunusanlage, for example, it occupies the Bundesbank Headquarters of the State of Hesse, designed by the architectural office of Prof. Jochem Jourdan.