Frankfurt am Main is home to 13 of the 15 tallest buildings in Germany. Bonn and Cologne are home to the two others. Germany’s other large cities, like Munich, Hamburg, and Berlin are not known for their skyscrapers because those cities have formal or informal bans preventing tall buildings. For example, in Munich new buildings over 100 meters are not allowed to be built.
Frankfurt also had opposition against skyscrapers in the past. In the 1980’s there was strong opposition in Frankfurt against skyscrapers from the Green Party and the CDU.(1) Since then opposition has faded and local citizens have come to embrace the skyscrapers. People are now proud of the skyline.
The city has even had festivals to celebrate its buildings. The Wolkenkratzer Festival has been held four times already, and the last festival, held in 2007, brought over 1 million visitors to downtown Frankfurt.(2) The next festival will be held in May of 2013.
Resistance to building a new skyscraper has decreased in Frankfurt because buildings have become so much more efficient. One great example of the improvements in a building’s efficiency is the site of the Deutsche Bank towers. The towers were completed in 1984, but the bank has recently spent over $200 million Euro on improving the efficiency of the building. The plans goal was to cut the energy use of the building in half.(3) Many of the more recently constructed buildings in Frankfurt are already very energy-efficient.
Here are the five tallest buildings in Germany:
5. Tower 185
Tower 185 will be completed in December 2011. It will be 200 meters tall and have 55 floors. PricewaterhouseCoopers has already signed a contract to become the largest renter in the building. Tower 185 sits in an area of Frankfurt that is rapidly developing. Other buildings, hotels, and shopping centers are currently under construction or in the planning process. Additional public transportation will also be routed to this center.
4. Main Tower
The Main Tower is also 200 meters tall, but it has an antenna that adds an additional 40 meters to its hight. It has 56 stories above ground.
The tower was completed in 1999, and in 2011 it was awarded with a LEED Gold Status.
One other cool thing about the Main Tower is the restaurant located near the top of the building. At 187 meters, the Maine Tower Restaurant and Bar diners can experience great food while enjoying fantastic views of Frankfurt. It is said to be one of the ten best restaurants in Frankfurt.
3. Westend Tower
The Westend Tower was completed in 1993. It is 208 meters tall and has 53 floors.
When it was completed in 1991, the Messeturm was the tallest building in Europe. However it has since dropped to 6th on the list of the tallest buildings in Europe. It is 257 meters tall.
The Messeturm can be easily recognized by the pyramid located at the top of the building. This tower is home to over 4,000 workers.
1. Commerzbank Tower
The Commerzbank Tower has been the tallest building since it’s completion in 1997. It is 259 meters tall and has an antenna that extends the height to 300 meters. Until 2003 it was the tallest building in Europe.
A garden is located in the center of this triangular building. The garden is pert of the building’s “green design”, which was encouraged by the Green Party, and the CDU during the design stages. Because of the green design, the Commerzbank Tower is considered to be an efficient skyscraper.
Of course this list will change in the future, and probably soon, because a number of new skyscrapers are already under construction in Germany.
While Frankfurt has a large share of Germany’s skyscrapers it lags far behind the skyscrapers of other cities. As of right now, the tallest building in Germany isn’t even one of the 150 tallest buildings in the world (source).
(1) Alexander, Matthias. “EZB-Neubau Im Ostend noch ein Doppelturm der Macht.” Frankfurter Allgemeine 20 May 2010. Online.
(2) Alexander, Matthias. “Wolkenkratzer-Festival Feiertage für die Skyline.” Frankfurter Allgemeine 11 May 2007. Online.
(3) “Deutsche Bank ,,Green Towers” im Herzen Frankfurts.” Frankfurter Allgemeine 30 Nov. 2009. Online.
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