Optimisation phase

Preliminary decision

Design prior to the optimisation phase

Design prior to the optimisation phase

© Frank Hellwig

When it selected COOP HIMMELB(L)AU to design the ECB’s new premises on 13 January 2005, the Governing Council also decided to conduct an optimisation phase. In cooperation with the ECB, the architects reviewed their design, taking into account the revised functional and spatial requirements, in order to ensure an optimal use of resources and to reduce costs. In parallel, the ECB worked closely with the Frankfurt authorities to integrate the Grossmarkthalle site into the city’s infrastructure.


Design at the end of the optimisation phase

Design at the end of the optimisation phase

© Robert Metsch

On 15 December 2005 the Governing Council approved COOP HIMMELB(L)AU’s optimised design concept for the ECB’s new premises. The new concept fully met the requirements of the ECB.


The optimisation phase led to several changes in the design proposal:

  • First, a new building element was introduced, which will intersect the Grossmarkthalle, connecting the hall to the office towers and providing a distinctive entrance to the new ECB premises from the north.
  • Second, the use of the Grossmarkthalle was intensified, while the view of the Grossmarkthalle from the south was improved.
  • The revised requirements resulted in a reduction in the number of workplaces from 2,500 to 2,300. These will be occupied by between 1,500 and 1,800 ECB staff members, as well as by experts of the National Central Banks, external consultants, trainees and temporary staff.