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Advancing architecture by a degree or two instead of taking one’s bearings from what happens to be usual; opting for meticulous work and high-quality building materials to this end rather than flashy effects; looking for unusual solutions and hence adding to the inventory of what has hitherto been feasible. Thinking of this kind is not the order of the day in Frankfurt’s banking district around Mainzer Landstrasse, unfortunately – the FortySeven & Co. office block proves that it is, however, realistic. With a façade that is as aesthetically extraordinary as it is technically, the building provides an alternative to the all too often bland office architecture in the banking metropolis.
The building’s clients Max Baum Immobilien and Competo Capital Partners wanted to have a prestigious, high-quality structure erected in the midst of insignificant office architecture. In TEK TO NIK, they found a firm of architects with the courage and will to embrace unusual, design challenges. Attention is focused on an impressive façade that helps shape the urban space. The eight-storey office block features a decorative limestone façade characterised by the versatile interplay of geometric shapes, patterns and shadow effects. The façade is fashioned like a chessboard with 8 by 8 floor-to-ceiling window panels.
A four-segment entrance is all that does not fall within this system of structuring. The building’s quality and class are, of course, designed to be evident both outside and in. Users such as GLS-Bank, who were the first to sign a tenancy agreement, have access to premises of between 2,200 and 8,800 square feet. Handles by FSB have been fitted here that, though conspicuously strong on value, are careful not to hog the limelight, leaving the façade to take centre-stage.
Photos: Andreas Stimpert