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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11th December 2017, 11.15 pm

Architektur muss brennen!

Documentary film marks Wolf D. Prix's 75th Birthday.
The film illustrates COOP HIMMELB(L)AU’s philosophy and specific method of designing which led to important large scale international projects such as the BMW Welt in Munich, the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt/M., the Musée des Confluences in Lyon, as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art & Planning Exhibition (MOCAPE) in Shenzhen.

On air: Monday, 11.12.2017 at 23:15 at ORF2 Kulturmontag

4 December 2017

"Interloop", Wynyard Station, Sydney

A new 50-meter long sculpture by the Sydney artist and sculptor Chris Fox was officially opened to the public. It weighs more than 5 tonnes and is entirely fabricated out of marine grade aluminum. The sculpture incorporates 244 wooden treads and four combs from the station's original wooden escalators.

Bollinger + Grohmann is proud to be part of the team to make this fascinating project a reality.

28. November 2017

Topping out ceremony for the future Deichman Library in Oslo

The new Deichman Library is situated next to the new Central-Railwaystation in Olso. This project is another important element for the redevelopment of the harbour- area around the new Opera.

Bollinger + Grohmann is in charge of the structural design for both projects.

November 2017

Ingenieurbaukunst 2018

The book, published by the Federal Chamber of Engineers, presents the most spectacular current civil engineering projects worldwide, in which German engineers play a significant role.

Bollinger + Grohmann are represented this year with contributions about the projects ESO Supernova in Garching and the Provinciehuis in Antwerp.

November 2017

Beispielhaftes Bauen im Main-Tauber-Kreis 2010 - 2017: Award

for the extension of the gastronomy at the Castle Wertheim with punkt 4 architekten, Kassel, Germany.

Bollinger + Grohmann were in charge of the structural design and buildings physics.

October 2017

Holzbaupreis Steiermark 2017: MIBA Forum Laakirchen

We are happy to receive the ”Holzbaupreis Steiermark 2017“ in the category "wood construction without borders“ for the concept of Delugan Meissl Associated Architects where Bollinger + Grohmann made the structural engineering.

10 November 2017

New publication in DETAIL publishing house: Visionäre und Alltagshelden

Accompanying the exhibition "Visionäre und Alltagshelden" at the OVMF in Munich, a publication with the same name has been published by DETAIL publishing house.

In addition to a historical overview of the development and importance of the profession of engineers and the presentation of current impulse-giving projects,in a third part, several essays supplement various developments and innovations in the construction industry.

Christoph Gengnagel (B+G and UdK Berlin) supported the book with a contribution on the topic "Structural Design and Formfinding Processes".

10 November 2017 - 14 January 2018

Exhibition: Visionäre und Alltagshelden

Civil engineers play the leading role in the exhibition entitled "Visionäre und Alltagshelden. Ingenieure – Bauen – Zukunft" (Visionaries and Everyday Heroes. Engineers – Build – Future). The exhibition outlines the historical development of the profession, building a bridge to the present and giving an outlook on the future. Protagonists and milestone projects - among them the Rolex Learning Center in Lausanne (Architects: SANAA, Tokyo; Structural engineers: Bollinger + Grohmann), traditional building projects and innovations document the social, cultural and technological relevance of civil engineering.

The Oskar von Miller Forum in Munich presents the exhibition in cooperation with the M:AI Museum für Architektur und Ingenieurkunst North Rhine-Westphalia.

6 November 2017

New address Bollinger + Grohmann Ingénierie

From 6th November Bollinger + Grohmann Ingénierie has a new address: 15 rue Eugène Varlin, 75010 Paris.

All other contact details like phone, fax, email and web remain unchanged.

23 September 2017 - 25 March 3018

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

23 October 2017

"Inventons la Métropole du Grand Paris": B+G among the winning teams twice

We are proud to be part of two winning teams of the "Inventons la Métropole du Grand Paris" call for projects.

In Saint-Ouen, on the site of the flea market, with Novaxia, Engie, Wilmotte & Associés and Manifesto for the realization of a new 18000 m² cultural center.

In Paris, ZAC Paul-Bourget, with Financière Pichet, Atelier Kempe Thill, Atelier Dots Paysagistes, Toits Vivants for the creation of an exemplary building for the circular economy, focused on experimentation.

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.

October 2017

Competition for the Heidelberg Convention Center: 2nd prize

for Nieto Sobejano Architectos, Berlin.
Bollinger + Grohmann gave expert advice .

The 1st prize goes to Degelo Architekten, Basel, two 3rd prizes to Bez+Kock Architekten and 4a Architekten from Stuttgart.

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

20 October 2017

Tragwerksgestaltung - Neue Entwurfsprozesse im konstruktiven Entwurf

Lecture by Christoph Gengnagel (Bollinger + Grohmann, Institut für Architektur und Städtebau, University of the Arts Berlin) on the occasion of the 21st Dresden seminar on structural analysis "Reality - Modeling - Structural Design".

Location: World Trade Center Dresden
Time: 10:15 - 10:45 am

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.

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.

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.

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.