The employees of the European Central Bank (ECB) are currently based in three different buildings in Frankfurt am Main: the “Eurotower” (Kaiserstrasse 29); an office building that formerly belonged to Commerzbank (Neue Mainzer Strasse 32–36); and the “Eurotheum” (Neue Mainzer Strasse 66). Now they are to be brought together under one roof, in new premises designed by Viennese architecture office COOP HIMMELB(L)AU. In moving to these new premises, the ECB is following a recommendation by the European Court of Auditors to all European institutions that it is much more economical in the long term to own premises rather than rent office space.
Functionality and sustainability were key elements of the competition brief and in the jury’s decision-making process, and continue to play an important role in the planning of the new premises. The structural and spatial design of the new premises will create a working environment that meets various functional requirements and facilitates open communication, thus promoting teamwork and interaction at every level. At the same time, the degree of flexibility in the structural and spatial design is such that changing requirements can be adapted to with little effort.
The ECB’s new premises will not only create a single base for its operational activities, but also stand as a visible symbol of the ECB’s identity.