New ECB headquarters to be 'global icon'

21st January 2005, Comments 0 comments

21 January 2005, FRANKFURT - A new headquarters building in curving glass for the European Central Bank on a riverside site in Frankfurt will not only come to symbolise Frankfurt and European unity, but develop into a "global icon", ECB Jean-Claude Trichet said. Offering fresh details of the project the week after bank governors chose the architects, Trichet said it would cost EUR 500 million, excluding planning and site development costs. The bank, which as a guardian of the euro, said there would be an "


21 January 2005

FRANKFURT - A new headquarters building in curving glass for the European Central Bank on a riverside site in Frankfurt will not only come to symbolise Frankfurt and European unity, but develop into a "global icon", ECB Jean-Claude Trichet said.

Offering fresh details of the project the week after bank governors chose the architects, Trichet said it would cost EUR 500 million, excluding planning and site development costs.

The bank, which as a guardian of the euro, said there would be an "optimisation phase" till autumn this year to ensure that the complex cost no more than planned. The design, by the Coop Himmelb(l)au architecture partnership of Vienna, emerged in a competition.

It consists of two flared, 184-metre-high towers that seem to be in an embrace, a low-rise podium block and a refurbished 1920s building that was formerly the city's produce market.

The ECB is to start a new competition in the autumn to design a Holocaust memorial for the site.

The produce market was used as a marshalling point for city Jews when the Nazis were sending them to concentration camps.

Trichet said the ECB was cooperating closely with Jewish organisations and the city of Frankfurt in the monument plans.

The new 100,000-square-metre headquarters will be built using the ECB's own funds and there will be no call on member countries to contribute. The site, in a gritty part of Frankfurt with few offices at present, will accommodate 2,500 staff.

Currently the bank has some 1,500 staff working out of three Frankfurt office buildings.

The two towers will be interconnected by a large atrium, several walkways and lift shafts, architect Wolf Prix of Coop Himmelb(l)au said. He said that although the building was "transparent" in line with ECB demands, it had many security features. He gave no details.

Meetings of the governors are top secret, as millions of euros could be made on world foreign exchange markets by someone with a few minutes' forewarning of an unexpected interest rate decision. 

DPA

Subject: German news 

 

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