European Central Bank by Coop Himmelb(l)au

Work starts next spring on the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, designed by Austrian architects Coop Himmelb(l)au.

Coop Himmelb(l)au won a competition to design the bank's new headquarters in 2005 with their 185 metre tall, double-towered proposal.

The bank is due to open in 2014.

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Here's more from Coop Himmelb(l)au:


Construction of the new premises of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, to start in spring 2010

The Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) informed today during a press conference about the positive outcome of the Europe-wide public tendering procedure and announced that therefore construction of the main construction works for its new premises will start in spring 2010.

Following the announcement, Wolf D. Prix, Design Principal and CEO of COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, said: “It is always an exciting moment when an idea becomes reality. We are very pleased about the decision of the Governing Council of the ECB that the new bank headquarters will now be built. I believe that it is not only an important building for us, but also for the European Union, because the building will be one of the important three- dimensional signs of the European Community. I am also proud that we will realize the project without any curtailments or compromises within the given budget.”

In 2008, the Council of the European Central Bank decided for a tender process with distinct invitations. The first eight packages, namely main structure work, site work, elevators, facades, roofing, height-access systems and mechanical and electrical services, were sent out to tender over the course of 2009. As reported during the press conference, these eight packages consist of 44 lots and constitute around 80% of the building costs. The bids submitted by construction companies for those first packages are within the budget. The contracts with the construction companies will be signed early next year, with the goal to start the main construction works in spring followed by the release of the remaining tender packages.

COOP HIMMELB(L)AU won the competition for the new premises of the European Central Bank in 2005. The project is located in Frankfurt’s Ostend and will be built at the site of the Grossmarkthalle (wholesale market). At a height of around 185 meters, the double tower - with its polygonal shape and east-west orientation - has a striking profile that is visible from all important reference points in Frankfurt’s city center, as well as from the river Main. The imposing form of the Grossmarkthalle unites with the vertical profile of the towers to form a significant ensemble that considers both the local urban design environment and the general urban spatial context, thus creating a tension between Frankfurt’s banking district and the Ostend area. The opening of the European Central Bank is scheduled for 2014.