Frankfurt is the largest city in the German state of Hesse and the fifth-largest city in Germany, with a 2012 population of 687,775.  The urban area had an estimated population of 2,300,000 in 2010. The city is at the centre of the larger Frankfurt Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region which has a population of 5,600,000 and is Germany’s second-largest metropolitan region. Since the enlargement of the European Union in 2013, the geographic centre of the EU is about 40 km (25 mi) east of Frankfurt.

20th-century architecture

Frauenfriedenskirche and Holy Cross Church, both consecrated 1929, an example of an early modernist church building.
Grossmarkthalle, built 1926–1928, the former wholesale market hall, currently under reconstruction to become part of the future European Central Bank Headquarters.
Goethe House, rebuilt 1947. The birthplace of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe from 1749 was destroyed in World War II and then rebuilt true to the original.
Junior-Haus, built 1951, an example of early post-World War II architecture located at Kaiserplatz.
Bayer-Haus, built 1952, another example of early post-World War II architecture. Today it houses the 5-star Fleming’s Hotel Frankfurt.
Museum für angewandte Kunst, built 1985, designed by Richard Meier.
IG Farben Building

The IG Farben Building, also known as Poelzig Building (Poelzig-Bau) after its architect Hans Poelzig, was built from 1928 to 1930 as the corporate headquarters of the chemical industry conglomerate I.G. Farbenindustrie AG. It is located in the Westend district and borders Grüneburgpark in the west. On its completion, the complex was the largest office building in Europe and remained so until the 1950s. The building served as headquarters for research projects relating to the development of Nazi wartime synthetic oil and rubber, and the production administration of magnesium, lubricating oil, explosives, methanol, and Zyklon B, the lethal gas used in concentration camps. After World War II, the IG Farben Building served as the headquarters for the Supreme Allied Command and from 1949–1952 the High Commissioner for Germany (HICOG). It became the principal location for implementing the Marshall Plan, which largely financed the post-war reconstruction of Europe. The state apparatus of the Federal German Government was devised there. The IG Farben Building served as the headquarters for the US Army’s V Corps and the Northern Area Command (NACOM) until 1995 when the US Army returned control of the IG Farben Building to the German government. It was purchased on behalf of the Goethe University Frankfurt by the state of Hesse. Since October 2001 it is part of the Westend Campus of the Goethe University.

21st-century architecture

Die Welle (The Wave), built 1998–2003, a complex of three wavelike-formed office buildings next to the Opernplatz.
Alte Stadtbibliothek, rebuilt 2003–2005, reconstruction of the old public library house which was originally built 1820–1825.Palais Thurn und Taxis, rebuilt 2004–2009, reconstruction of a palace which was originally built 1731–1739.
MyZeil, built 2004–2009, a shopping mall at the Zeil with an imposing vaulted glass-structure.
The Squaire

The Squaire (a portmanteau of the words square and air), also known as Airrail Center Frankfurt, is a 660 m (2,165.35 ft) long and 45 m (147.64 ft) tall office building located at Frankfurt Airport. It was built from 2006–2011 on top of an existing railway station (Frankfurt Airport long distance Station) and has a connecting bridge to Terminal 1 for pedestrians. With a total of 140,000 m2 (1,506,947 sq ft) rentable floor space it is considered the largest office building in Germany. Main tenants of the Squaire are KPMG Europe LLP, two Hilton Hotels and Lufthansa.


Frankfurt is one of the few European cities with a significant number of skyscrapers, meaning buildings at least 150 m (492.13 ft) tall. 14 out of a total of 15 skyscrapers in Germany are located in Frankfurt. Most of the skyscrapers and high-rise office buildings in Frankfurt are located in the financial district (Bankenviertel) near the city centre, around the trade fair premises (Europaviertel) and at Mainzer Landstraße between Opernplatz and Platz der Republik, which connects the two areas.

The 14 skyscrapers in Frankfurt are:

Commerzbank Tower, 259.0 m (849.74 ft) — Europe’s tallest building (1997–2003), Headquarters of Commerzbank.
Messeturm, 256.5 m (841.54 ft) — Europe’s tallest building (1990–1997), Main tenant is Goldman Sachs (Germany).
Westend Tower, 208.0 m (682.41 ft) — Headquarters of DZ Bank.
Main Tower, 200.0 m (656.17 ft) — Headquarters of Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen and of Standard & Poor’s (Germany).
Tower 185, 200.0 m (656.17 ft) — Headquarters of PricewaterhouseCoopers (Germany).
Trianon, 186.0 m (610.24 ft) — Headquarters of DekaBank.
European Central Bank Headquarters[A], 185.0 m (606.96 ft) — New Headquarters of European Central Bank.
Opernturm, 170.0 m (557.74 ft) — Headquarters of UBS (Germany).
Taunusturm[A], 170.0 m (557.74 ft)
Silberturm, 166.3 m (545.60 ft) — Germany’s tallest building (1978–1990), Main tenant is Deutsche Bahn.
Westend Gate, 159.3 m (522.64 ft) — Germany’s tallest building (1976–1978), Main tenant is Marriott Frankfurt Hotel.
Deutsche Bank I, 155.0 m (508.53 ft) — Headquarters of Deutsche Bank.
Deutsche Bank II, 155.0 m (508.53 ft) — Headquarters of Deutsche Bank.
Skyper, 153.8 m (504.59 ft) — Main tenant is DekaBank.

Other high-rise buildings in Frankfurt include:

Eurotower, 148.0 m (485.56 ft) — Current Headquarters of European Central Bank.
Frankfurter Büro Center, 142.4 m (467.19 ft) — Main tenant is Clifford Chance (Germany).
City-Haus, 142.1 m (466.21 ft) — Main tenant is DZ Bank.
Gallileo, 136.0 m (446.19 ft) — Main tenant is Commerzbank.

History of high-rise buildings

For centuries, St. Bartholomeus’s Cathedral had been the highest structure in Frankfurt. The first building to beat the 95-metres high cathedral in terms of height was not an office building but a grain silo, the 120-metres high Henninger Turm, built from 1959–1961.

The first boom of high-rise buildings came in the 1970s when Westend Gate (then called Plaza Büro Center) and Silberturm were constructed and became the tallest buildings in Germany with a height of 159.3 metres and 166.3 metres respectively. Around the same time, Frankfurter Büro Center and City-Haus (142.4 metres and 142.1 metres) were constructed at Mainzer Landstraße and Eurotower (148.0 metres) and Garden Tower (127.0 metres; then called Helaba-Hochhaus) were constructed in the financial district.

During the 1980s, none of the then constructed buildings reached higher than the existing buildings. The most famous buildings from this decade are the Deutsche Bank Twin Towers at Taunusanlage, both 155.0 metres tall.

The second boom of high-rise buildings was in the 1990s: Messeturm, built at the trade fair premises, reached a height of 256.5 metres and became the tallest building in Europe by 1991. It was beaten in terms of height by Commerzbank Tower (259.0 metres) in 1997. Other tall buildings from this decade are Westendstrasse 1 (208.0 metres), Main Tower (200.0 metres) and Trianon (186.0 metres).

Since the beginning of the 21st century, Frankfurt has seen the construction of more high-rise buildings and skyscrapers (e.g. Skyper, Opernturm, Tower 185, European Central Bank Headquarters, Taunusturm) but not any record-breaking heights.

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