One of the most stunning skylines in Europe can be found in a city that was established on the banks of the Main River in the German state of Hesse.
Frankfurt am Main is the official name of this bustling city in the southeastern part of Germany that is home to an incredible banking district.
One fascinating skyscraper sticks out of the bunch, and in this post, you’ll discover some of the most interesting facts about the Commerzbank Tower.
1. It’s located in the heart of the Bankenviertel of Frankfurt
The city of Frankfurt is the most populous metropolitan area within the German state of Hessen. The city is the fifth-largest in the country with over 760,000 inhabitants.
The metropolitan area of Frankfurt am Main, which also extends to Offenbach and Hanau, is home to over 5.6 million people.
The Commerzbank Tower is the most amazing skyscraper in Frankfurt and is located right in the heart of the central business district which is known locally as the “Bankenviertel.”
As you surely expected, this area is home to numerous skyscrapers that serve as the headquarters of banks (such as Commerzbank), insurance companies, and other financial institutions.
2. The tower was designed by a British architectural firm
Commerzbank is the second-largest bank in Germany and operates in over 50 countries. It was founded in Hamburg in 1870 but moved a lot of its offices to Frankfurt am Main in the 1970s and officially in 1990.
The bank grew so much in the second half of the 20th century that new headquarters were required. This is why the Commerzbank Tower was commissioned in the early 1990s.
The building was designed by Norman Foster of Foster & Partners, one of the most renowned British architects in history, and completed between 1994 and 1997.
Arup and Krebs & Kiefer were the structural engineers of the tower and the building contract was awarded to Hochtief AG, the largest construction company in Germany.
3. It held a remarkable record upon completion in the early 1990s
The tower features “just” 56 floors and its roof only reaches a height of 258.7 meters (849 feet). The antenna on top of the building is what turned the Commerzbank Tower into a record-breaking building.
The tower reaches an architectural height of 300.1 meters (985 feet) which made it the tallest building in Europe upon completion.
It held this record between 1997 and 2003, the year that the Triumph Palace in Moscow was completed which stands 264.1 meters (866 feet) tall (if we don’t count the antenna).
4. The interior section of the triangular building features 9 sky gardens
Norman Foster designed a triangular-shaped skyscraper with sides that have a length of 60 meters (197 feet). This created an immense atrium in the center of the tower.
Because of this remarkable setup, the offices inside the tower provide views of both this atrium and the city which is quite amazing.
9 sky gardens were integrated to enhance the cooling and heating effect. It also reduces the need for artificial light which is a huge energy-saving feature.
5. It was the first green skyscraper that was constructed in Europe
The tower might have looked completely different if it wasn’t for the fact that Frankfurt’s Green Party governed the city together with the Social Democratic Party in the early 1990s.
They were the ones who demanded that the newly constructed headquarters of Commerzbank had to be environmentally friendly.
This is why the tower is considered to be the first true “green skyscraper” that was constructed in Europe.
More interesting facts about the Commerzbank Tower
6. The Commerzbank Tower remains the second-tallest building in the European Union today.
It was the tallest following the Brexit which removed the Shard in London from the list, but surpassed by the Varso Tower in Warsaw in 2021 which stands 310 meters (1,017 feet) tall.
7. The original headquarters of the Commerzbank were relocated in Hamburg, another major in the northern part of Germany.
While the building wasn’t small by any means, it was a lot more humble than the massive skyscraper we can admire today.
8. The Commerzbank Tower wasn’t the first major skyscraper that was constructed in Frankfurt am Main. Another major tower was completed in the early 1990s and can be found west of it.
The Messturm was constructed between 1988 and 1990 and was the tallest building in Europe upon completion at 257 meters (843 feet). It remains the third-tallest building in the EU today.
9. The building was constructed for DM600 million (DM 1.95583 = €1) in the 1990s. The building isn’t owned by Commerzbank anymore today as it was sold for EUR 620 million to the Samsung Insurance Company in September 2016.
10. The building features 109,200 square meters (1,175,000 square feet), all of which were leased back from Samsung by Commerzbank. This is a remarkable deal that will end in 2031.
11. The benefit of having an ecological skyscraper is that it’s very energy-efficient. The downside is that steel had to be used as the main building material as opposed to the cheaper concrete.
Using steel significantly increased the building cost of the structure. It was the first skyscraper in Germany that was constructed with steel as its main building material.
12. A competition was held to determine the type of lighting scheme that was to be integrated into the building. A man named Thomas Ende ended up being the winner.
His design features a distinctive yellow lighting scheme that magnificently illuminates the tower at night. It surely makes the tower stand out even more, don’t you think?