European Central Bank - ECB 
Frankfurt, Germany 
© Paul Raftery
© Paul Raftery
© Paul Raftery

project description

The new building for the European Central Bank is located on the site of the listed Großmarkthalle in the East of Frankfurt.
The striking 180 m high double towers are unified to an entity by a full height glass atrium. The listed market hall ”Großmarkthalle” experienced a restoration process as part of its integration within the construction of the new ECB towers. The impressive 220 m long and 52 m wide brick building from Martin Elsaesser houses the lobby, conference rooms and the press centre. A "clamp" cuts the roof zone diagonally in order to define the new main entrance in the North and provides a transfer to the tower in the South.


The load-bearing exterior walls of the double towers transfer the vertical loads into the raft-pile foundation. The concrete cores provide lateral stability to the individual towers and resist the horizontal forces from the partially tilted façades. The numerous ramps, bridges and slabs connecting both towers create an entirely effective structural system.


The two solid towers of the double highrise are structurally linked via large steel struts and reinforced concrete slabs across the 20m wide atrium space. The atrium façades on the East- and West side span between the two towers and create a glass surface connecting to the glazed roof. The East façade is approximately 42 m wide at its base and 21 m at the top. Due to the twisted geometry of the towers, a part of the East façade is inclined. The West façade spans approximately 23.5 m at its top and bottom.


The free-standing steel structure of the atrium façades is designed as a fully welded grid, which is fixed horizontally and vertically sliding at the towers. Via a kink within the two façades horizontal, differential movement of the two towers can be accommodated. The self weight of the whole façade is transferred to the groundfloor slab and a downstand beam below. In addition, windpins, which are connected to the towers, prevent excessive deformations of the façades in case of wind load.


ECB European Central Bank, Frankfurt, Germany

Coop Himmelb(l)au, Vienna, Austria

Competition:First prize (2003)

Completion: 2013

GFA: 184,000 m² | Gross volume: 766,000 m³ | Height North tower: 185 m | Height South tower: 165 m | Height incl. communication mast: 220 m | parking spaces: 650

Structural engineering
Design of the atrium façades


DAM Preis für Architektur 2015: Die 22 besten Bauten in/aus Deutschland 2015, Recognition
Deutscher Ingenieurbaupreis 2016, Recognition
Best Tall Building Europe 2016, Finalist
Preis des Deutschen Stahlbaues 2016, Recognition


Architektur und Tragwerk in symbiotischer Beziehung - Der Neubau der Europäischen Zentralbank in Frankfurt
K. Bollinger, C. Brensing, M. Grohmann, M. Stracke, in: Ingenieurbaukunst 2016, Ernst & Sohn, Berlin, 2015


Aufstrebendes Fachwerk: Europäische Zentralebank, Frankfurt a. M., in: DBZ 11, 2013, S. 66 - 69
Europäische Zentralbank, Frankfurt, in: Ausgezeichneter Stahlbau 2016, hrsg. vom bauforumstahl, Callwey Verlag, S. 28-31, München, 2016

Related Links


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20 - 22 October 2017

Standard Architecture - From Durand to BIM

Lectures in the course of the symposium:

BIM—the engineer’s perspective (Manfred Grohmann)
21/10/2017, 5 pm

Standards and regulations in the design of innovative façades (Daniel Pfanner)
22/10/2017, 2:30 pm

Standardized thinking? (Manfred Grohmann)
The presentation will be followed by a discussion with ministerial director
Monika Thomas
22/10/2017, 6 pm

Location: Deutsches Architekturmuseum Frankfurt am Main
Schaumainkai 43

5 October 2017, 2 - 7 p.m.


On October 5th 2017 the engineering office osd launchs in Frankfurt's DAM (Deutsches Architekturmueum) the "osd statements 01 - engineering the future". The first lecture in this series presents several positions from civil engineering with regard on future-oriented constructions, materials and assembly methods.

At 2.30 pm Manfred Grohmann gives the first lecture in this lecture series on the topic: "Future-oriented constructions"

October 2017

Mit Teamwork zum KACST Headquarter

Article of Klaus Bollinger, Manfred Grohmann and Simon Ruppert about the Headquarter of the "King Abdullah City for Science and Technology" in the annual edition of the "Bauingenieur" 2017/2018.

September 2017

Opening of the Lab City CentraleSupélec

The project of the Ecole Centrale-Supélec in Paris was completed just in time for the beginning of the semester 2017-2018.
Bollinger + Grohmann was in charge of the structural and façade design.

25 - 28 September 2017

IASS 2017: Interfaces

The annual IASS (International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures) symposium will take place in Hamburg, Germany between September 25 - 28 2017. This year the theme of the symposium will be "INTERFACES: ARCHITECTURE . ENGINEERING . SCIENCE".

Applications are open for workshops (between September 20 - 24) lead by Clemens Preisinger and Moritz Heimrath - "Optimization of Statically Informed Grid-Shell Patterns", by Philipp Eisenbach - "Aggregated Structure: Approximating Topology Optimized Material Distribution with discrete building blocks".

Manfred Grohmann is Vice Chair of the organisation comittee and Bollinger+Grohmann acts a sponsor for the symposium.

23 September 2017, 2 pm

Opening: Up into the Unknown

Peter Cook, Colin Fournier and the Kunsthaus

The exhibition "Up into the Unknown" traces the creation of the Kunsthaus Graz, exploring thereby the relationship between visionary ideas and their realisation.

With works by Archigram, Bollinger + Grohmann, Peter Cook, Colin Fournier, Jessica Hausner, Niels Jonkhans, Mischa Kuball, Vera Lutter, Anna Meyer, realities:united, Isa Rosenberger, Gernot Stangl and Arthur Zalewski

Length of the exhibition: 23/09/2017 - 25/03/2018
Venue: Space01

18 - 20 September 2017

Design Modelling Symposium Paris 2017

This's years conference will be on the topic: "Humanizing digital reality"

Applications are open the pre-symposium workshops and Master Classes from 16 - 17 September.

The symposium will be organized with the assistance of Klaas de Rycke (ENSA Versailles / B+G Paris) and Christoph Gengnagel (UDK Berlin / B+G Berlin).

Conference venue:
ENSA-V, Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Versailles, Paris

15 September 2017

Opening of the installation "Fountain" in St. Pölten, Austria

A permanent light sculpture by the artist Brigitte Kowanz will present the former water tower on the premises of Glanzstoff, St. Pölten, in a particularly atmospheric way.
Bollinger + Grohmann were in charge with the structural design in this project.

15 September 2017

New adress of our Berlin branch

From the 18th of September you will find our office at the following adress:

Alt-Moabit 103 / 2.OG
10559 Berlin

11 September 2017

Topping out ceremony for the future Allianz Campus in Berlin Adlershof

On 11 September, one year after the foundation stone was laid, a topping out ceremony was held at the future headquarters of the Allianz in Berlin. CORPUS SIREO Real Estate and their partner FOM Real Estate are projected to offer a total of 50,000 m² renatl office spaces, spread over three buildings desgined by schneider+schumacher. The completion is expected by April 2019.

B+G is in charge of the structural design.

Footbridge 2017 Berlin

The Paper "Intelligent Fabrication - Digital Bridges" was accepted for the Footbridge 2017 Berlin Conference.

Prepared by Klaas de Rycke, Louis Bergis, Ewa Jankowska-Kus, Dragos Naicu, Adam Orlinski and Matthew Tam.

Location: TU Berlin, Gebäude 13b, Hörsaal B, Germany
Date: 6. - 8.9.2017

06 - 20. September 2017

Exhibition: AD Intérieurs 2017 - The Pavilion Salle à Manger

For "AD Interiors 2017 exhibition"at the Monnaie de Paris, RDAI will present a timeless dining room space "The Pavilion Salle à Manger". This piece plays with simple geometric shapes and materials—wood, wicker, mirror, enamelled lava, wool and leather—to compose an elegant space.

The project has been created in partnership with:
Ambiance Lumière, Atelier Emmanuel Barrois, Bollinger + Grohmann, Carpet Sign, Coopérative Vannerie de Villaines, Groupe Pierredeplan, Hermès, Holzbau Amann, J. & L. Lobmeyr, K.H. Würtz, Laval, Manufacture de Digoin, Ph. A Concepteurs Lumière & Design, Puiforcat, Viabizzuno

27 August 2017

Darmstadt Datterich

This year once again, our team B+G Frankfurt participated at the 10 Freunde Triathlon in Darmstadt. Jointly with over 3000 participants, they finished the swim course of 380 m, the bike course of 18 km and the running track of 4,2 km.

August 2017

New European headquarter of the MHK Group: progress on the construction site

Meanwhile, the installation of the translucent glass façade with its large-scaled second glass panes is almost finished.

July 2017

FOUR, Frankfurt

Frankfurt's new high-rise quarter FOUR is being built on the former DEUTSCHE-BANK-AREAL. The architecture of the buildings was chosen in February 2017 within the course of a competition by the Dutch architecture office UNStudio.

We are pleased to be in charge with the structural engineering together with Werner Sobek Frankfurt in a team (ARGE).

Since March 2017

Tomás Saraceno – in orbit

The installation was reopened in March 2017 after extensive renewal measures and will be open for visitors until March 2018. The accessible 25-metres-high net structure was originally planned in collaboration with Bollinger + Grohmann is installed sind 2013 in the Ständehaus in Düsseldorf, Germany.

July 2017

Ferris wheel in the "Spreepark", Berlin: Expert opinion

The ferris wheel in Berlin's Spreepark shall be recommissioned. Therefore an expert assessment by B+G with the participation of a metalworking company has been effected.

The client "Grün Berlin GmbH" has made a video documentation about the assessment by the experts of the ferris wheel and presents it on its website.

10 June - 1 October 2017

Sculpture Projects Münster

Bollinger+Grohmann Paris supported Oscar Tuazon in designing "Burn the Formwork" for the Sculpture Projects Münster, a German festival held every ten years.

The exhibition is organized by the LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur and open to the public from the 10th of June until the 1st of October.

27 June 2017

Competition for Walkerhill Spa & Resort: 1st Prize

for the concept by Delugan Meissl Associated Architects with Bollinger + Grohmann. For this project located in Seoul, Korea, the spa features, among other things, the longest infinity pool in the world.

31 May 2017

Competition for the extension of the Kunsthochschule Kassel: 2nd prize

with Kuehn Malvezzi, Berlin, Germany. The 1st prize goes to Innauer Matt Architekten from Benzau (Austria), the 3rd prize to TRU Architekten Part mbB, Berlin, Germany.
The submitted concepts will shortly be exhibitet in Kassel, Germany.

15 June 2017

Inauguration of the Crematorium "Hörnli" in Basel

The new L-shaped crematorium is located on the premises of the Hörnli cemetery in Basel. It is characterized by the calm rhythm of the brickwork compounds.

13 April - 15 October 2017

IGA Berlin 2017: Inside the Flower

Between 13 April and 15 October 2017, the IGA Berlin 2017 is inviting to a festival of the most beautiful international garden design and green urban life culture under the motto "an ocean of colours".
In the "Horizons" area is located, among others, the pavilion "Inside the Flower" by the artist Janet Laurence. The project was implemented in cooperation with LAVA and Cityplot, Bollinger + Grohmann gave advice for static issues.

Opening of HYUNDAI Motorstudio Goyang in Seoul

In Seoul, Hyundai's largest adventure centre just opened. On a total of 14 levels are located the new exhibition-, office-, educational- and recreational spaces. The building has also 5 basement levels, housing parking-, service areas. Delugan Meissl Associated Architects from Vienna were responsible for the design and execution, Bollinger + Grohmann were charged with the structural and façade design in this project.

20 May - 20 September 2017

A "Paradiesgarten" for Luther

The contribution "Paradiesgarten" by students of the UdK Berlin within the framework of a students competition was awarded the first prize. The walk-in installation will be shown until September 20th in the "Stadtpark Wittenberg" opposite the meadow of the castle.
Bollinger + Grohmann provided the students during planning and implementation.

Art Biennale in Venice 2017

The Austrian Pavilion presents in the course of the 57th Biennale again artistic installations. Bollinger + Grohmann gave expert advice to the artist Erwin Wurm for his Performance One Minute Sculpture "Stand quiet and look out over the Mediterranean Sea" as contribution for the Austrian Pavilion and acted as sponsor.
The Biennale runs from 17 May until 26 November 2017.

New website online: Ingenieurtalente

The website is supported by the German Consulting Engineers Association VBI state associations and provides information about careers, training and contact persons in the fiel of engineering careers. The goal is to arouse interest among young people for the job of a structural engineer and the workspace in an engineering office.