A complex of integrated pieces replaces the conventional monolithic tower paradigm, creating a distinctive identity for the European Central Bank through an architecture that is non-mimetic of the scale and formal language of Frankfurt’s skyline. The complex gradually changes form in response to its context; integrating with the adjacent urban fabric on the North while dispersing to a more fluid and natural typology to tie into Frankfurt’s peripheral greenbelt to the South. The north façade’s transparent curtain wall is a single monolithic surface expressive of the lucidity and openness of the new economic state in Europe.
Eschewing the singular tower model in favor of a strategy of dispersal, four interwoven yet differentiated architectural typologies organize the program: the first, the reconfigured Grossmarkthalle, is the primary public space in the complex; second, discrete areas of subterranean program house parking and technical infrastructure; the third, a tri-level augmented landscape, or berm, functions dually as an invisible level of security and as a transitional element between built form and landscape. Finally, five ribbons, to be constructed in phases, encompass the departments outlined in the program requirements, and provide natural light, air and views to all workers in the complex.