We asked and you answered. Which skyscrapers do you love to gaze up at in awe and wonder? The aesthetics, the clean lines, the bold audacity, the memories had, the feelings evoked, the hopes of what is still to come; all these aspects play a role in our perception of these glistening towers.
Frankfurt’s skyline has become an integral part of the city’s identity. It is not possible to dissociate Frankfurt from the skyscrapers that make up it’s skyline. Whether you love them or…just like them, they are here to stay with many more on the way. We love them and we know you do too… (at least most of you anyway).
Three towers rose up above the rest in the feedback on our social posts. Messe Tower, Omni Tower and Opera Tower. All three aesthetically very different but interestingly all developed by the same Firm – American property developer Tishman Speyer.
1 | Trade Fair Tower – Messeturm
Completed in 1991 and designed by the Murphy/Jahn architecture firm, this is the second tallest building in Germany stretching up to 256,5 meters high. The architect, Helmut Jahn, was born near Nuremberg and studied in Munich. He left Germany for the USA as a nobody and quickly made a name for himself in the architectural world. It is then no surprise that his designs took on a certain americanised extravagance to be bigger, bolder and better than before.
The tower has stood the test of time and is a favourite among photographers, tourists and Frankfurt locals. The geometric lines, scale and tapered tip connote precision, poise and power. It is a structure that unapologetically commands pride. The tower has recently undergone a multimillion Euro renovation. This included improving the lobby area by installing colossal 18m glass panels for more light and transparency. On 8th of May 2021 Helmut Jahn died in a freak accident while cycling his bike in Campton Hills, Illinois, US. Despite this tragedy his legacy lives on in his cutting-edge designs and post-modern steel and glass structures. The “Bleistift” is one of very few buildings to receive its own Postcode, 60308 – an achievement which underlines the significance of this towering structure.
2 | Omni Tower
Many of you have fallen head over heels for this relatively new addition to the Frankfurt skyline. It’s multi-faceted Gleaming facade reflects the changing light throughout the day. It can go from deep blue to fiery red reflecting a sunset over the distant Taunus hills. Omni meaning “all” is a reference to its diverse functionality. Omni Tower fuses Office, residential and public spaces into one elegant vertical space. It was completed in 2019 by Tischman Speyer and designed by the Bjarke Ingels Group.
The highlight is of course the stacked central swing which separates office space from residential living. However, this is not just an eye-catching design element, but allows these floors open air terraces as wide as up to 5 meters. Nestled in between Main Tower, Japan Centre and the Commerzbank tower it has stiff competition on all sides. However the elegant central swing fascinates from all angles and is a draw for all architecture and aesthetics lovers. It is no surprise that it is repeatedly mentioned when referring to the skyline at the Main river.
3 | Opera Tower
Opera tower is Frankfurt and Germany’s tenth tallest tower reaching 170-meter-high into the sky. It is also a favourite among locals. The tower was designed by Christoph Mäckler and developed by Tishman Speyer. Opera Tower is clad in natural cream coloured stone staying true to its surroundings and complementing the Old Opera House just across the other side of Bockenheimer Anlage.
The Opera Tower was erected on the old site of Zurich Haus which was one of the first skyscrapers to be built in Frankfurt. This construction appears more modest from a distance. It seeks to blend in and harmonise with its older surroundings and doesn’t try too hard to impress. It is really this sleek effortless unassuming design that makes it a stand out piece and one that is mentioned over and over again. Up close you are faced with the sheer scale of the extravagant 18m high lobby. The straight geometric lines appear to blend closer together given the height of the tower and you are left feeling a little insignificant in the shadow of this giant. It’s location on the edge of Rothschild park exaggerates the contrast between green nature and colossal creation even further.
What about the other skyscrapers?
Of course, many more skyscrapers where mentioned…too many to cover in one article. Frankfurt is home to 18 of Germanys tallest towers. Old and new they are all in their own way unique in design, style and function. During a tour of the Commerzbank tower, Germany’s tallest, we were told that it is a requirement for new tower designs to be recognisable from all angles.
This Means that the structure must possess unique elements that make it stand out from its neighbours. Frankfurt is a city in the midst of rapid evolution with much urban development in the planning. We are excited to see which towers will spring up in the coming years and how they will change the face of the city as we know it today. We loved reading your responses and are happy that so many of you are fiercely proud of the city we all call home.