Press conference on the opening of “Campus Deutsche Bundesbank” exhibition at German Architecture Museum ©Nils Thies

Exhibition showcasing designs for Bundesbank campus now open

A new exhibition at the German Architecture Museum (DAM) in Frankfurt showed all the design ideas pitched for the Bundesbank’s new campus on the grounds of its Central Office. The opening ceremony saw Executive Board member Johannes Beermann, whose responsibilities include construction management, award prizes for the best designs.

First prize was awarded to the design submitted by the Basel-based architects Morger Partner Architekten AG. Explaining the jury’s decision, Mr Beermann said: “We are seeing architecture and functionality engage in a symbiotic relationship: high-end, state-of-the-art architecture masterminded by Morger Partner Architekten meeting rational efficiency, while delivering high-quality working space. The new architecture – the main building and the three identical structures positioned at right angles in front of it – also reflects the Deutsche Bundesbank’s evolution. Independent and strong by tradition – a part of the Eurosystem together with other national central banks and the European Central Bank.

Six prize winners and two honourable mentions

A jury made up of renowned architects and representatives from the Bundesbank and the City of Frankfurt am Main selected six prize winners and two honourable mentions out of a total of 29 designs entered in the competition, all of which have now been put on display at the German Architecture Museum.

The design that took first prize cleverly expands upon the urban design idea pitched by Ferdinand Heide Architekten,” explained Arno Lederer, chair of the jury, at the press conference. “The jury unanimously recommended that the Bank use the first-prize-winning design as the foundation for further work.

For Mike Josef, Head of the Planning Department of the City of Frankfurt, the value that the winning design adds to the city’s urban fabric is what makes it so special. “What mattered for us as a city is that the line of sight to the main building, which itself is also important for us as a city, has been preserved,” he remarked.

Second prize went to the design tabled by the Frankfurt architects KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten, while the jury awarded third prize to the Viennese architecture firm Schenker Salvi Weber Architekten ZT GmbH & Franz und Sue Architekten ZT GmbH. Fourth place went to the Berlin-based architects Ortner & Ortner Baukunst GmbH. Wittfoht Architekten bda, based in Stuttgart, came in fifth with their ideas. Last but not least, sixth place went to RKW Architektur + Rhode Kellermann Wawrowsky GmbH from Düsseldorf. The designs put forward by Thomas Müller Ivan Reimann Architekten GmbH and Max Dudler, both from Berlin, earned honourable mentions.

Main building “still the star of the show”

The urban development framework for this competition was staked out by the design proposed by Ferdinand Heide Architekten, which was adopted by the Bundesbank at the end of 2018. “In essence, their idea is all about creating an ensemble of powerful architectural statements in a park-like area of land with a mature population of existing trees. Needless to say, the ‘star of the show’ in this ensemble is and will always be the main building of the Bundesbank’s Central Office, which was built in the Brutalist idiom between 1967 and 1972,” Mr Beermann explained.

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 these staff members operate from various locations spread across Frankfurt’s city centre.

The exhibition, entitled “Campus Deutsche Bundesbank” was displayed at the German Architecture Museum in Frankfurt am Main from 16 July to 18 October 2020.