Seat of the European Central Bank
Seat of the European Central Bank
Seat of the European Central Bank and Frankfurt Skyline at dawn 20150422 1.jpg
Building in 2015
Alternative names New ECB Premises, Neubau der Europäischen Zentralbank
General information
Status Complete
Type Government offices
Architectural style Deconstructivism
Location Ruckertstrasse
Hesse, Germany
Coordinates 50°06?34?N 8°42?09?E / 50.10944°N 8.7025°E / 50.10944; 8.7025Coordinates: 50°06?34?N 8°42?09?E / 50.10944°N 8.7025°E / 50.10944; 8.7025
Spring 2010
Completed October 2014
Inaugurated 18 March 2015
Cost ~ EUR1.4 billion
Owner European Central Bank
Antenna spire 201 m (659 ft)[1]
Roof 185 m (607 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 48
Floor area 184,000 m2 (1,980,000 sq ft)
Lifts/elevators 18
Design and construction
Architect Coop Himmelb(l)au
Engineer Bollinger + Grohmann
Ove Arup & Partners
Ebert-Ingenieure Nürnberg

The seat of the European Central Bank (ECB) is in Ostend (East End), Frankfurt. The premises include the former Wholesale Market Hall (Großmarkthalle), a new 185/165 m twin-skyscraper and a new low-rise building to connect the two. East of the city centre, it houses the new headquarters for the European Central Bank (ECB).[6] It was completed in 2014 and was officially opened on 18 March 2015.

The ECB is required by the Treaties of the European Union to have its seat within the city limits of Frankfurt, the largest financial centre in the Eurozone.[7] The ECB previously resided in the Eurotower and, due to lack of office space there, in three other high-rise buildings (Eurotheum, Japan Center, and Neue Mainzer Straße 32-36) in the city centre of Frankfurt.


The newly built main office building consists of two towers that are joined by an atrium with four interchange platforms. The North tower has 45 storeys and a roof height of 185 m (607 ft), whereas the South tower has 43 storeys and a roof height of 165 m (541 ft). With the antenna, the North tower reaches a height of 201 m (659 ft). The new ECB premises furthermore comprises the Grossmarkthalle, a former wholesale market hall built from 1926-1928 and fully renovated for its new purpose.[8]



In 1999, an international architectural competition was launched by the bank to design a new building. It was won by a Vienna-based architectural office called Coop Himmelb(l)au. The building was to be 185 meters tall (201 meters with antenna), accompanied by other secondary buildings on a landscaped site on the site of the former wholesale market (Großmarkthalle) in the eastern part of Frankfurt. The main construction work was planned to commence in October 2008, with completion scheduled for before the end of 2011.[9][10]

Construction was put on hold in June 2008 as the ECB was unable to find a contractor that would build the Skytower for the allocated budget of EUR500 million[11][12] due to the bidding taking place at the peak of the pre-late-2000s recession bubble. A year later with prices having fallen significantly the ECB launched a new tendering process broken up into segments.

Model of the European Central Bank 
Großmarkthalle site from the river Main (2006) 
April 2012 
The building at night 

It is expected that the building will become an architectural symbol for Europe and is designed to cope with double the number of staff who operate in the Eurotower.[13] The total cost of the project was between 1300 and 1400 million euros. For the total surface of 185 000 square meters, this gives a building cost in excess of 7000 euros per square meter.[8]


Staff began moving into the new building in November 2014,[14] and the building was officially opened on 18 March 2015.[15] The opening was marked by a three-day protest by the anti-capitalist Blockupy movement, an offshoot of the Occupy movement, and other opponents of the European troika, and by violence across Frankfurt on the opening day.[15] Police used water cannons and tear gas against protestors, while demonstrators threw stones at police, firefighters and Frankfurt's trams, and set fire to cars and barricades.[16][17]

The ECB's new headquarters was reportedly selected as the venue for the demonstration so as to highlight the contradiction between the ECB's lavish spending on its own US$1.4-billion building while forcing cuts and market reforms on countries like Greece and Cyprus.[18][19][20] Ulrich Wilken, an organiser, said: "Our protest is against the ECB, as a member of the troika, that, despite the fact that it is not democratically elected, hinders the work of the Greek government. We want the austerity politics to end."[18] The pan-European protests included members of Greece's radical left governing party Syriza and Spain's left-wing Podemos.[21]

See also


  1. ^ "ECB newsletter 5/2013" (PDF). European Central Bank. Retrieved 2013. 
  2. ^ "Seat of the European Central Bank". CTBUH Skyscraper Database. 
  3. ^ Seat of the European Central Bank at Emporis
  4. ^ "Seat of the European Central Bank". SkyscraperPage. 
  5. ^ Seat of the European Central Bank at Structurae
  6. ^ "New ECB Premises". European Central Bank. Retrieved 2008. 
  7. ^ "Consolidated versions of the treaty on European Union and of the treaty establishing the European Community" (PDF). Eur-lex. Retrieved 2007. 
  8. ^ a b "New ECB premises. Facts and Figures" (PDF). European Central Bank. Retrieved 2015. 
  9. ^ "Winning design by Coop Himmelb(l)au for the ECB's new headquarters in Frankfurt/Main". European Central Bank. 6 January 2003. Archived from the original on 9 June 2007. Retrieved 2007. 
  10. ^ "Launch of a public tender for a general contractor to construct the new ECB premises". European Central Bank. 6 January 2003. Retrieved 2007. 
  11. ^ "The European Central Bank formally closes the public tender for a general contractor to build the new ECB premises". European Central Bank. 25 June 2008. Retrieved 2008. 
  12. ^ Rainer Schulze (27 June 2008). "Angebot für EZB-Turm lautete auf 1,4 Milliarden Euro". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). Retrieved 2012. 
  13. ^ Dougherty, Carter (16 November 2004). "In ECB future, a new home to reflect all of Europe". The International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 2007. 
  14. ^ ECB (1 December 2014). "New Premises". European Central Bank. Retrieved 2014. 
  15. ^ a b Bloomberg (18 March 2014). "ECB besieged by protests as Draghi celebrates $1.4bn tower". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2014. 
  16. ^ "Mehrere Festnahmen bei Blockupy". Hessischer Rundfunk (in German). 18 March 2014. Archived from the original on 18 March 2015. Retrieved 2014. 
  17. ^ "Straßenbahnen stehen, A661 gesperrt". Hessischer Rundfunk (in German). 18 March 2014. Retrieved 2014. 
  18. ^ a b "At least 350 people arrested in protest at ECB HQ in Frankfurt". The Guardian. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 2015. 
  19. ^ "'Blockupy' protesters clash with police at new ECB headquarters in Frankfurt". SCMP. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 2015. 
  20. ^ "Thousands to protest in Frankfurt against ECB 'austerity'". Reuters. 15 March 2015. Retrieved 2015. 
  21. ^ "Germany riot targets new ECB headquarters in Frankfurt". BBC News. 18 March 2015. Retrieved 2015. 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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