A Question of Money? Real Estate Management and Local Politics as Ordering Forces in the Planning and Construction of High-Rise Bank Buildings in Frankfurt am Main
Horse-trading between the municipality and the big bank, real estate transactions between capitalists and communists, or speculative objects that become architectural icons: all of these (and more) have had a major impact on the history of high-rise construction in Frankfurt am Main. The skyline, which is unique in Europe and which has earned the financial metropolis of Frankfurt the nickname “Mainhattan”, is characterized by impressive high-rise buildings, some of which wrote architectural history. The headquarters of Commerzbank (1994-1997), built by star architect Norman Foster, made headlines, for example, as the tallest building in Europe, and because of its ecological concept. If you search into the origins of this (and other) skyscrapers, it becomes clear that the architects were only able to realize their designs within the framework set for them by the client on the one hand, and the city of Frankfurt on the other. Essential features of the high-rise buildings thus resulted from negotiation processes between the companies and the municipality, which regulates the property market to a large extent. Based on the headquarters of leading major banks in Frankfurt am Main, this lecture traces how economic interests, negotiation processes and mechanisms significantly influenced the complex history of the origins of the high-rise buildings.
PD Dr. Dr. Hauke Horn studied architecture, art history, and class; archeology and philosophy in Münster, Darmstadt and Mainz. Award-winning doctorates in art history (PhD) 2012 and architecture (Dr.-Ing.) 2015. Habilitation at the University of Mainz in 2020, with a thesis on architecture as a means of communication in the corporate architecture of the 20th century. Horn taught and researched at universities in Braunschweig, Darmstadt, Kaiserslautern, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Mainz, and Strasbourg. He is currently a private lecturer at the Institute for Art History at the University of Mainz. His research focuses on architecture as a visual means of communication, the architectural transformation processes, material culture of remembrance, and corporate architecture.
The event is part of the lecture series Designed Orders. The lecture will take place in hybrid mode (in person and via Zoom) on the Westend Campus of Goethe University Frankfurt and will be held in German.