Model photo Campus Bundesbank ©Nils Thies

Architectural design competition – prize winners announced

The architectural design competition for the planned new builds on the campus of the Bundesbank’s Frankfurt Central Office has come to a close. A jury of 13, made up of renowned architects and representatives from the Bundesbank and the City of Frankfurt am Main, concluded two days of deliberations by selecting six prize winners and awarding two honourable mentions out of a total of 29 designs entered in the competition. Anonymity was preserved throughout the procedure, up to and including the jury meeting, which meant that neither the jury members nor any other parties involved in the proceedings knew which architecture firm had submitted which draft until the design competition was over.

First prize was awarded to the design submitted by the Basel-based architects Morger Partner Architekten AG, whose draft expands upon Ferdinand Heide’s urban development framework to formulate an evolutionary architectural design. With its “three identically rendered, slender office buildings”, their design “presents a dramatic analogy to the main building”, the jury wrote. By creating a balanced repertoire of open spaces, the Swiss architects inspire a strong campus mindset. Also of merit was their particularly well-organised floor plan, which maximises spatial efficiency to impact very positively on the design’s key economic figures.

Second prize went to the design tabled by the Frankfurt architects KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten, which leaves a clear, unobstructed view from Wilhelm-Epstein-Strasse to bring the Bundesbank’s main building to the fore.

The jury awarded third prize to the Viennese architecture firm Schenker Salvi Weber Architekten ZT GmbH & Franz und Sue Architekten ZT GmbH, which had the idea of creating two deep plan high-rise structures, the eastern one of which stands at a right angle to the other.

Fourth place went to the Berlin-based architects Ortner & Ortner Baukunst GmbH for a design centred around three powerful structures that leave the existing ensemble looking almost delicate. Interior organisation and functionality is a forte of this particular submission.

Wittfoht Architekten bda from Stuttgart earned fifth place, impressing the jury mainly on account of their compelling design of the street-facing functional structures.

Last but not least, sixth place went to RkW Architektur + Rhode Kellermann Wawrowsky GmbH from Düsseldorf, whose submission underscores the uniformity of all the planned new buildings and made for a compelling package overall on account of its calm, robust and unpretentious approach.

The designs put forward by Thomas Müller Ivan Reimann Architekten GmbH and Max Dudler, both from Berlin, earned honourable mentions for proposals that enriched the deliberations.

The urban development framework for this competition was staked out by the design proposed by Ferdinand Heide Architekt, which was adopted by the Bundesbank at the end of 2018. The idea behind this construction project is to bring together all the employees working for the Bundesbank’s Central Office in Frankfurt at the Bank’s campus on Wilhelm-Epstein-Strasse. At present, roughly half of its staff operate from various locations spread across Frankfurt’s city centre.

All 29 submissions were praised by the jury for engaging with this challenging design project in a highly professional manner. It advised the Bundesbank to implement the submission that won first prize and, in so doing, issued a technical recommendation for future construction work on the campus.

All the drafts entered in this competition will be put on display in an exhibition entitled “Campus Deutsche Bundesbank – Drafts for the new campus of the Bundesbank’s Central Office in Frankfurt”, which runs from 16 July to 18 October 2020 at the German Architecture Museum in Frankfurt, admission free. The exhibition opens on 15 July 2020 with a press conference which will be streamed live on the Bundesbank’s website.