Deutsche Bundesbank @ Baumeister BBK

Explanatory report on the competition entry Deutsche Bundesbank in Frankfurt.

1st prize: Behnisch & Partner, Stuttgart
Collaborators: Elisabeth Sikiaridi, Matthias Tusker, Peter Schmal, Falk Petry, Susanne Dexling, Dieter Lachenmann

Deutsche Bundesbank @ Baumeister BBK, Germany, 1 September 1998


The Deutsche Bundesbank is located on the edge of the city and not next to the sometimes tall, competing buildings of the “normal” banking institutions, nor in the daily hustle and bustle of the city.
Efforts must be made to further develop this special position of the Deutsche Bundesbank in a positive direction. Then this special, prominent location in the urban fabric would probably also correspond to the special, prominent importance of the Deutsche Bundesbank in our society.

The draft presented also follows this objective. The authors believe that it would make sense for the entire complex to be linked less with the surrounding residential buildings and more clearly with the large, open green spaces in the surrounding area, green areas in which sports facilities, transport structures, telecommunications tower, etc. are also embedded. A large park-like area could be created. This would be a “worthy” location for the Deutsche Bundesbank. The approaches and details of the planning are then within the scope of these efforts.

The spatial program designates rooms that are less bound and those that are more bound to strongly secured areas or internal relationships. The less bound parts can form a “site plan figure” that can meet the special requirements of the new facility, derived from the situation and task. The more strongly bound parts, on the other hand, are less easy to handle. They are “added” to the park here. They rise one to two storeys above the site, i.e. they are located under the treetops. Their roofs should be greened. A large, 3-storey ring was planned for the raised part. This structure “floats” above the site. It is intended to give the impression that the park would also pass under the building. This somewhat more conspicuous structure meets the requirements derived from the location, significance and planning concept. It is a “solitaire” and has an unusual shape.

Together with the telecommunications tower and the existing large Deutsche Bundesbank building, this structure will form an impressive ensemble in the park.
This ensemble will also be recognizable from the telecommunications tower as a “fifth view”. The “ring” detaches itself from the more “pragmatic” parts of the Deutsche Bundesbank complex and also from the surrounding residential buildings, without wanting to devalue them; rather, it helps them by enhancing the overall situation.
It is not easy to shape the new building in the existing situation.
The height is occupied by the telecommunications tower, the mass and length by the existing main building, and the pragmatism of the other buildings and the type of residential development is not something you want to join. So all that remained was the building with its special formal appearance.

The construction, material and appearance of the buildings also follow this concept: the 3-storey “floating” ring will be precise, technically accentuated, rather metallic and shiny. A ring-shaped curved box girder rests on a few strong reinforced concrete pylons. The horizontal elements of this girder lie in the ceilings, vertically there are three lattice girders (in the façades and in the corridor partition wall), lattice bulkheads across make this large girder torsionally rigid.

The façades, soffits and soffits are to be metallic and shiny (light metal façades). The planned water surface reflects the sunlight onto the underside of the building. (…)”

The complete competition results for Stuttgart in Baumeister 8/1989, page 75; Frankfurt in this issue on page 80


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