Bundesbank plans to future-proof its Central Office in Frankfurt

The Bundesbank's Executive Board has decided to extensively renovate the Bank's Central Office in Frankfurt am Main in a project that will last a number of years. "Thoroughly refurbishing the building will make it fit for the future," said Johannes Beermann, the Executive Board member whose remit includes Administration and Premises. "This project demonstrates a clear commitment by the Bundesbank to both its current location and the building itself." The Executive Board's landmark decision will now be followed by at least two years of planning. This means that construction work will kick off in two to three years at the earliest, once the planning phase has been concluded.

The Bundesbank's striking tower building in the north of Frankfurt am Main was designed by the architects ABB Apel, Beckert und Becker and erected between 1967 and 1972, since which time it has remained essentially unchanged. The architecture of the original ensemble of Bundesbank buildings – the tower building, the Cash Department building and the guest house adjacent to the entrance – is in the tradition of classic modernism and can be described as belonging to the Brutalist style. It was the French architect Le Corbusier who coined the term "béton brut", or "raw concrete", referring to the grey unfinished surface of raw reinforced concrete, which he used as a design feature in his buildings. This conspicuous use of reinforced concrete became an international trend in the 1960s and 1970s and was the preferred architectural style for public buildings around the world, including Germany. According to Mr Beermann, "The Bundesbank's main building radiates a strong sense of objectivity and functionality; for wide swaths of the general public, it symbolises a culture of stability in monetary policy."

More than 40 years on from its construction, the Central Office is no longer a state-of-the-art building. The precast reinforced concrete elements and the window units in the facade will all need to be replaced, and the heating system no longer satisfies today's energy efficiency standards. "By thoroughly overhauling and revitalising our main building, we are also making an unequivocal commitment to sustainability," remarked Mr Beermann.

The Executive Board has taken note of the serious disruption and inconvenience that the forthcoming construction work will cause for the Bundesbank's day-to-day operations and decided that the office space in question should be vacated while construction work is under way. The staff in question will relocate to temporary offices at an as yet undetermined location for the duration.