The Dutch architectural office UN Studio is to design the planned office tower "Nion" in the Europaviertel in Frankfurt.

After the competition in January initially had no clear winner, the office prevailed in the revision phase against the architectural office Grüntuch Ernst, which was placed on an equal footing.

A recognition went to Stefano Boeri from Milan.

Rainer Schulz

Editor in the Rhein-Main-Zeitung.

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The Berlin architects Grüntuch Ernst had already designed the Porsche Design Tower, which was initially planned on the construction site next to the Emser Bridge.

However, because the residential tower could not be successfully marketed, the new owner Groß & Partner changed the plan in favor of office use after acquiring the property and launched a new competition.

Client focuses on sustainability

A decidedly “green design” was required.

The two first-placed offices rely heavily on vertical greening of the facades.

The winning design by UN Studio is in the shape of a standing “L”: a slender 100-metre tower rises towards the Emser Bridge, which merges into a lower base to the west.

The joint between the two parts of the building is lushly planted, vertical green bands characterize the base structure.

According to José Martinez, co-managing director of Groß & Partner, this gives the impression that the greenery in the park is wandering over the building.

The green elements should also continue inside.

A green passage runs through the ground floor, past a café, from Europaallee to the park, which may also be open to the public.

When it comes to energy consumption, the client is also focusing on sustainability: 70 percent of the heating and 30 percent of the cooling requirements are to be obtained from geothermal energy, ten percent of the electricity consumption are to be covered by solar cells in the facade.

The office tower has a gross floor area of ​​45,000 square meters and is scheduled for completion in early 2026.

A public piece of land borders the tower to the south, which leads next to the railway embankment to Idsteiner Straße and is to be designed as a park.

There is also a water tower, which is under monument protection.

An urban development contract stipulates that the client will contribute financially to the design of the park.

It is still unclear how the water tower will be used in the future - various ideas are being examined, from a kiosk to a café to an art installation.

Head of Planning Mike Josef (SPD) is pleased that a "green tower" is being realized, which forms a gate situation with its counterpart on Europaallee.

When designing the park, Josef also wants young people to be able to exercise.

With attractive elements such as a halfpipe, one can create added value for a group that one normally does not have in mind in a high-rise project.

In this way, the park could become a meeting place and a link between the European and Gallus quarters.

Martinez called this idea "charming", the park is the "beautiful back" of the tower: "We want to get away from the ivory tower."

The entries of the eight participants in the competition are currently on display in the Planning Department of the City of Frankfurt, Kurt-Schumacher-Strasse 10​.

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