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


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.



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).



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.



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.



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.



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.