Bundesbank Campus design competition winner announced

Image Credit: geskes.hack Landschaftsarchitekten

The Bundesbank’s landscape architecture competition for the new campus at its Central Office in Frankfurt am Main has come to a close. An expert jury selected four prize winners and awarded one honourable mention out of a total of 16 submitted designs.

“The brief was to draft a high quality and sustainable open space concept that satisfies the functional and security requirements set out in the construction plan and serves as an aesthetic feature embracing the new ensemble,” explained Johannes Beermann, the Bundesbank Executive Board member whose responsibilities include construction management. “The landscape design will play a major role in creating a sustainable campus for the next few decades.”

First prize was awarded to the design submitted by Berlin-based landscape architects geskes.hack Landschaftsarchitekten GmbH. Their entry was based around a distinctive campus park with water features, which will be covered with water depending on rainfall levels, occupying the central axis leading from Wilhelm-Epstein-Strasse to the main building. The idea is for these rain gardens to absorb much of the rainwater falling on the campus. The campus park “segues convincingly into the new urban ensemble, creates a setting worthy of the Bundesbank, and delivers high environmental and recreational value,” the jury wrote.

Image Credit: geskes.hack Landschaftsarchitekten
Image Credit: geskes.hack Landschaftsarchitekten

To the south of the main building, towards Miquelanlage and Grüneburgpark, the concept submitted by geskes.hack Landschaftsarchitekten GmbH largely dovetails with the surrounding landscape, with a particular emphasis on biodiversity. The Berlin-based entrants plan to develop this part of the premises into a sculpture park showcasing items from the Bundesbank’s own collection.

Second prize went to the design submitted by the Bruchsal architects BHM Planungsgesellschaft mbH. The jury awarded third prize to BIERBAUM.AICHELE.landschaftsarchitekten from Mainz and fourth prize to the design pitched by capattistaubach urbane landschaften, another Berlin firm. The entry by Atelier Loidl Landschaftsarchitekten GmbH earned an honourable mention.

Besides security considerations and recreational value for employees, the sustainability of the open space planning was a particularly important criterion for the jury, and the winning design particularly stood out in this respect. “What impressed the jury about this entry, besides the use of sustainable materials and vegetation, was its approach to water management,” said Bundesbank Executive Board member Johannes Beermann. “Our Project Campus is committed not just to meeting environmental standards but to exceeding them,” Mr Beermann explained.

The jury unanimously recommended that the Bundesbank should commission the architect behind the winning design with further planning work and concept development. The Bank will now enter into a negotiated procedure with all prize winners, likely to be completed by the end of 2022, and award the landscape planning contract thereafter.

The designs will be put on display at the Bundesbank’s guest house (Wilhelm-Epstein-Strasse 14, Frankfurt am Main) from 7 to 30 April. Tours for the general public can be booked through Frankfurter Stadtevents.

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Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/damianholmes/