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Banking district - Four high-rise project

Bebauungsplan Nr. 702 2 - ehemaliges Deutsche Bank Areal

Urban development draft, Offices, Housing
District: Local district:
Size of area:
Bebauungsplangebiet 2,8 ha Projektgebiet 1,6 ha

Project description

Reason for planning:
In 2015, Deutsche Bank vacated its property and sold the land to Groß & Partner Projektgesellschaft. This provided an opportunity for urban restructuring. Legal zoning plan no. 702Ä prepared the repurposing and densification. The legal zoning plan had to be amended in order for the changed framework conditions and urban development objectives to be realized.

Development area:
The site is in downtown Frankfurt and embraces the quarter between Junghofstrasse to the north, Rossmarkt to the east, Grosse Gallusstraße to the south and Neue Schlesingergasse to the west. The area covered by the legal zoning plan is 2.8 hectares. The project area is 1.6 hectares in size.

Planning objectives:
The plan foresees a dense mixed-usage urban quarter featuring housing, work premises, a hotel, childcare facilities, retail, and hospitality that will help liven up the banking district. New public plazas and arcades will link what was previously a closed site with the neighboring quarters. The creation of office space for high-end work stations will ensure the quarter functions as a banking district. Substantial parts of the heritage buildings will be integrated. Subsidized apartments will also be built with a view to ensuring a socially mixed quarter.

Planning progress:
Since 2015 the land has been owned by Groß & Partner, and form that time onwards the project’s objectives and framework conditions have been constantly coordinated with the city planning authorities. The previous legally permissible utilization was extended to include a higher proportion of accommodation with subsidized apartments. The heritage buildings were inspected and the conditions for their partial integration in the new plans specified. The same year, the architects at MOW conducted a feasibility study which investigated improved utilization of the land and simulated in model form the compatibility in terms of urban design of the building masses. In 2016, an urban development ideas competition with ten companies was staged in order to review and formalize the findings of the feasibility study. The jury, in which the City of Frankfurt was represented, selected the design submitted by Dutch planners UN Studio. The results were presented to the public in July 2016. The winning entry confirmed the feasibility study’s concept and formed the basis of the legal zoning planning procedure.

The previous plan, which hinged on concentrating the building masses on two high-rises, was abandoned in favor of their being distributed across four towers. The urban development draft proposal aims to lessen the spatial impact of the proximity of the high-rises to one another by each of them having six outer edges affording different views in each case. They will be aligned to one another such that they are impaired as little as possible by shadows. The longitudinal axes of the high-rises will be at right angles to one another (the windmill principle) in order, by virtue of the high-rises’ nose and longitudinal side being close, to create distance, improve the influx of light, and offer spacious views. Interacting with the high-rises already standing to the west and south of the development area, maximum heights for the high-rises of approx. 228 meters on Neue Schlesingergasse, 173 meters on Grosse Gallusstrasse, and 120 meters and 100 meters along Junghofstrasse are envisaged. The high-rises will set new accents in the urban fabric and complement the cluster of skyscrapers, not to mention the eye-catching Frankfurt skyline. Heights of between 21 meters and 30 meters have been specified for the podium structure. Given the downtown location of the site, floor space for all facilities totaling 219,000 m² will be possible, of which accommodation will account for at least 60,000 m². Alongside the main commercial uses such as offices, hotel, retail, and hospitality there are also plans for a childcare center. The project will provide space for some 4,000 employees and 1,000 residents.

Plazas and arcades linking the site with the neighboring quarters are envisaged. In line with valid planning law a large, greened city plaza will be built on Grosse Gallusstrasse. It will connect up, around a corner, with a new, interior district plaza. The existing open space to the south of the building at Rossmarkt 18 will be widened and serve as the start of the quarter. Pathways to Junghofstrasse and Neue Schlesingergasse will connect the new quarter to the urban space to the north. With a view to enlivening the quarter, the ground and first floors will predominantly boast facilities that attract large numbers of people such as retail and hospitality. The roof of the pedestal will feature predominantly greened and in places publicly accessible areas with hospitality.

On account of its characteristic post-War architecture, the office complex along Junghofstrasse 5-11 is a heritage building. The urban development draft nonetheless necessitates interventions in the structure of the building. Parts of it, as well as the facades along Junghofstrasse will be integrated in the newbuild.

The legal zoning planning procedure no. 702Ä2 to amend existing planning law was initiated with the fall 2016 resolution. The public and the local authorities participated at an early stage. Expert opinions on various topics were compiled. The draft of the legal zoning plan was then processed and disclosed in early 2018. The suggestions submitted were checked and in December 2018 the plan, together with proposals for consideration, was adopted as a by-law by the City Council. The legal zoning plan came into force in February 2019.

On account of the four towers Groß & Partner has named the project Four. Work on demolition of the existing buildings began in spring 2018. The construction pit has been being prepared since late 2018.