Eight final architectural designs for four high-rise locations in Frankfurt's new district of Gateway Gardens were presented at the Expo Real trade fair in Munich on 06 October 2014. The visionary designs are the result of a two-stage urban planning design process that was initiated by the property company Grundstücksgesellschaft Gateway Gardens in February 2014. Among the altogether 16 international architectural firms who participated, eight were short-listed in May 2014 for the final round.
Professor Karl-Heinz Petzinka of the Düsseldorf Art Academy, and chairman of the judging panel, was delighted that so many architects, many of whom are known far beyond the boundaries of Europe, took part in the design study process. We received an architectonic spectrum of an international standard that would be hard to match.
With these innovative and exciting designs by renowned international architects, Gateway Gardens shows that it is not just one of the most mobile and most central locations in Europe, but will also lend Frankfurt Airport City an unmistakeable face. Our objective is to combine a pioneering urban architecture optimally with forward- looking energy and environmental concepts, elaborated Josef Michel, the project manager in charge of the design study process at Grundstücksgesellschaft Gateway Gardens. The architectonic diversity makes it perfectly obvious that something special is about to be realised here: landmark buildings with a high sustainable quality.
Frankfurt is getting a new south-western skyline of defining character. As significant as the airport is in its role as a global hub, it should be complemented by an architectural signature style just as significant, stressed Olaf Cunitz, Mayor and Department Head for Planning and Building of the City of Frankfurt am Main. Our objective is to realise an attractive urban quarter of a high international standard.
The eight finalists are Behnisch Architekten (Stuttgart), Coop Himmelb(l)au Wolf D. Prix & Partner (Vienna), gmp International (Berlin), Hadi Teherani Architects (Hamburg), HPP Hentrich-Petschnigg & Partner (Düsseldorf), Meixner Schlüter Wendt Architekten (Frankfurt), Schneider + Schumacher (Frankfurt) and Zaha Hadid
Architects (London). The judging panel chaired by Professor Karl-Heinz Petzinka of the Düsseldorf Art Academy included representatives of the German Architecture Museum, the architectural firms of Scheffler und Partner and HHS Planer + Architekten, as well as the aviation research company GfL Gesellschaft für Luftverkehrsforschung. As Mayor and Department Head for Planning and Building, Olaf Cunitz represented the City of Frankfurt am Main. The owners were represented by airport operator Fraport AG, the property development company Groß & Partner Grundstücksentwicklungsgesellschaft mbH and the project development company OFB Projektentwicklung GmbH. The design study process was hosted by the consultancy firm for urban renewal and modernisation BSMF Beratungsgesellschaft für Stadterneuerung und Modernisierung.
The four plots for the new towers are located in two prominent entrance areas in northern and eastern sections of the 35-hectare estate. Here, the high-rises will be well visible from afar, and thus have gateway and beacon character. The eastern entrance area, for instance, is located directly next to the A5 motorway, close to the Frankfurter Kreuz motorway interchange. The designs with their detailed drafts present concrete architectural design proposals pre-approved under aviation law requirements to companies, investors and project developers.
With a permitted height of up to 80 metres, the high-rises will tower over all other buildings at Frankfurt Airport. The currently tallest building, the Alpha Rotex with a height of 68 metres, is located at Gateway Gardens as well. The designs are moreover distinguished by a high degree of sustainability, and take the latest German Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV 2014) into account. Most recently, Gateway Gardens obtained its sustainability certification by the DGNB German Society for Sustainable Construction.