European Central Bank, Frankfurt
2003 - International Competition Submission
The European Central Bank occupies a pivotal position within the tensions between European countries: their politics, economics and differing views. Our proposals for their new riverside building close to the centre of Frankfurt should be a forum to bring together these views, offering a range of ways to exchange information, explore the tensions and create solutions.
Knowledge and information have become the new currency of decision-making, and there are interesting parallels between the information superhighway and the way commodities were unloaded. The great hall is the heart of the building: an enclosed forum, agora or meeting square. We envisage it as part of a vast, flexible plan libre area to accommodate a huge variety of ways of meeting - from informal cafes to formal meeting rooms, overlooking the site.
Above this, wings of office floor plate, 15m wide follow the lines of force, so that they relate to the central space and to raised courts which look outwards. These benefit from both natural ventilation and the daylight a richly varied series of landscaped courts can offer.