Redeveloping a prestigious site in Frankfurt’s financial district

Leading a team with UNStudio, our Berlin office created a competition winning design for the second phase of the former Deutsche Bank Areal redevelopment.

The design competition brief was to create a world class mixed-use development in the heart of Frankfurt’s prestigious financial district. The team responded with a design comprising a multi-storey podium, which supports four towers that reach up 228 metres to redefine city skyline. Expected to create housing for 1,000 people and a further 3,000 jobs, this development will provide Frankfurt with a vibrant new urban quarter that will appeal to global investors.

Central to the winning scheme is the sensitive integration of existing listed buildings with new places and public spaces designed to unite the various elements of the mixed-use realm – including schools, flats, offices, hotels, restaurants and shops.

Buro Happold experts provided environmental, structural, fire, MEP, sustainability, wind and people flow engineering advice to UNStudio. Due to the complexity of the programme, both urban and building-scale performance of the design had to be evaluated and aligned.

“It was very inspiring to work as part of this multidisciplinary team, and have everyone sitting at the same table to create a holistic masterpiece. Together with UNStudio, we are thrilled with the success of our work.”
Martin Strewinski, Berlin office director, Buro Happold

A particular focus for our engineers came in analysing the mutual overshadowing patterns created by buildings across the development, so that we could take advantage of the energy saving opportunities. This concept was combined with a district-scale MEP strategy that uses cross-recovery of potential waste streams to save energy – for example using exhaust heat from an office complex to heat the hot water in a neighbouring hotel.

Key design concepts include:

  • Careful zoning to ensure the most suitable areas are allocated to each individual use
  • Adaptation of facade designs according to the building function (housing, office, hotel, etc.) based on solar access and daylight metrics
  • Evaluation of exterior lighting conditions and wind patterns to recommend resilient improvement measures
  • Creation of district-wide sustainability measures

The redevelopment of the former Deutsche Bank Areal will reinvigorate a space that has been inaccessible for 45 years, and in doing so establish a thriving new urban district for Frankfurt.

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