Railway Tower (Frankfurt am Main)

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The Bahn Tower Frankfurt (also different spelling as BahnTower , formerly also known as Campanile ) was a project of a high-rise building up to 210 meters high, which was to be built on a Khasana property south of the main train station in Frankfurt am Main , which had been used as a parking lot since the 1960s . Deutsche Bahn was discussed as the main tenant of the building . They examined the possibility of accommodating around 3,000 jobs in a new high-rise, including by partially relocating the workforce from the current DB headquarters in Frankfurt's Gallusviertel , and, after 2000, next to the Eisenbahnower headquarters in Berlinto expand another important company headquarters. In 2009, Deutsche Bahn opted for its new headquarters in the vacant high-rise Silberturm , which until 2008 was the headquarters of the former Dresdner Bank .

The failed Campanile project

Hans Robert Hiegel with a model of the campanile

Already at the beginning of the 1980s there were concrete plans to build on the property of the former cosmetics company Dr. Allbersheim-Khasana to build a high-rise. The tower, known as the Campanile, was to be the tallest office building in Europe at the time with a total height of 220 meters. The first draft for the skyscraper was done by the architect Hans Robert Hiegel with a total height of 180 meters on behalf of the city of Frankfurt, which years later would become the model for the Frankfurt exhibition tower . The design was recreated from Lego bricks in 1985 for the exhibition L'architecture est un jeu magnifique in the Center Pompidou , where it is incorrectly referred to as Casa Campanile Weinbrenner , another work by Hiegel.

Another design was presented by the Frankfurt office JSK, initially in the form of an eight-story house. The client was the investor Josef Buchmann . This was followed by higher variants from both architects. A few years later, Oswald Mathias Ungers' design was awarded first prize in a competition. A managing director from JSK was represented in the jury.

The name Campanile ( bell tower ) was derived from Italian church towers, which often stand free next to church buildings - in the case of Frankfurt the tower would have been built next to the “cathedral” main station. The construction project was controversial, as there were fears that the neighboring Gutleutviertel would displace the resident population and increase car traffic. Nevertheless, the city issued a first partial building permit on March 12, 1989 - 48 hours before the local elections, which meant the CDU lost government power and created a coalition of the SPD and the Greens . While the SPD supported the campanile, the Greens rejected the tower in principle. Finally, a legal error in the partial building permit brought down the whole project: A clause made the legal validity of the permit dependent on the consent of all neighboring properties affected by neighborhood law . While the other neighbors could be brought to a standstill in return for substantial financial assurances, the real estate group Fay, the then developer of the Campanile, and the design by JSK met with considerable resistance from the neighbor Hannelore Kraus . Even offers of millions of dollars did not dissuade the activist with a PhD from refusing to give her consent and suing the building project in order to delay the gentrification of her neighborhood. Although the clause in question was later declared ineffective by the court, as it actually represented a transfer of the authority to issue building permits from the city to the property neighbors, the Campanile project had long since failed and was also not politically in the red-green city government wanted more.

The second attempt in 2007

In 2005 the city planner Jochem Jourdan was commissioned by the city of Frankfurt to develop a new high-rise master plan . Among the plots that Jourdan recommended as suitable for high-rise projects was the campanile area at the main train station when it was first presented in March 2007. Jourdan proposed a tower that was only 180 meters high, which should be moved to the northern corner of the property on Mannheimer Straße. In the southern part, an urgently needed bus station could be built on the site. This proposal and other controversial locations caused long and controversial discussions in the black-green coalition. A decision on the new high-rise master plan was postponed several times. In April 2008 it was announced that the coalition of the CDU and the Greens had reached an agreement on the high-rise building at the main train station: The height would be limited to just 100 meters and the construction of a bus station was a mandatory requirement for the high-rise building. Just a few months later, in September 2008, this agreement was outdated again. It became known that the city had reached an agreement with the property owner Vivico Real Estate GmbH, which had belonged to the Austrian real estate company CA Immo AG since December 2007 , on a high-rise building with a maximum height of 210 meters. The decisive factor for the approval of a building twice as high was the interest of Deutsche Bahn in renting the tower completely and thus concentrating around 3,000 employees from Frankfurt in one place. Another requirement of the city of Frankfurt for the extension of the height was the construction of a bus station at the location as well as new apartments, especially subsidized social housing. A development plan procedure should be initiated when Vivico has signed the lease with Deutsche Bahn.

In March 2009, Deutsche Bahn announced that it had leased the Silberturm in the station district from Commerzbank on a long-term basis for around 2,000 employees . The skyscraper has stood empty since the Dresdner Bank employees moved out and was extensively renovated from the beginning of 2009. In April 2012, the employees of DB Systel , a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn, moved into their new jobs.

On the northern part of the property on Mannheimer Strasse, an eight-storey hotel has been under construction since 2016 instead of the planned railway tower, while the bus station, which was last proposed in 2007, is on the southern part. The temporary parking garage next to the 4-star hotel is to be replaced by a 100-meter-high office tower in a few years.

Web links


  1. "Campanile" can be 210 meters high - Bahn wants to rent an office tower at the main train station Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, September 11, 2008
  2. ^ The train rents a Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on March 6, 2009 in the "Silberturm"
  3. architects24
  4. Skyscraper or the spirit of the vertical - project for a skyscraper in Frankfurt a. M. (1983/2003) on Frankfurt Lounge ( Memento from October 14, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  5. https://thetriumphofpostmodernism.tumblr.com/post/152283493858/larchitecture-est-un-jeu-magnifique-exhibition/embed  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link / thetriumphofpostmodernism.tumblr.com  
  6. Time
  7. ^ Long- distance bus station: Start of construction for the long-distance bus station FR on July 21, 2015
  8. ↑ The main station quarter receives urban polish through development rmt-magazin.de, on January 23, 2018, accessed on December 16, 2019

Coordinates: 50 ° 6 '17.4 "  N , 8 ° 39' 45.9"  E