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The New Deutsche Bank Towers in Frankfurt

The New Deutsche Bank put high goals, not only in the financial sector. In 2005, the company has developed for itself a climate strategy in which it promises to design from 2013 to its operational processes carbon neutral, this of course includes the existing buildings. Ambitious introduction to this topic, the bank ventured same with its corporate headquarters, the German bank towers in Frankfurt.

The-New-Deutsche-Bank-Towers-in-Frankfurt-By-Mario-Bellini-Architects-gmp-Architekten-02 The New Deutsche Bank Towers in Frankfurt / Mario Bellini Architects & gmp Architekten

© Marcus Bredt

After a three-year renovation period, the two 155-metre-high Deutsche Bank towers were officially re-opened on February 24, 2011 in a ceremony attended by guests from politics, business and society. Almost 26 years ago to the day, in February 1985, Deutsche Bank’s headquarters at Taunusanlage 12 were formally opened for the first time. Since then, the towers have become landmarks of Frankfurt and symbols of Germany as a financial centre.

Deutsche Bank used the renovation of the towers to implement many innovative and progressive ideas, primarily in the field of ecology. For example, the bank has cut down on its energy supply by a half, water consumption by over 70 percent and CO2 emissions by almost 90 percent, making the new towers one of the most eco-friendly high-rise buildings in the world. The towers were awarded the highest possible certifications of LEED Platinum and DGNB Gold for their resource and energy efficiency.

  • The overall energy consumption has been reduced by 55 percent and the water usage decreased by 74 percent. CO2 emissions from building operations have been reduced by 55 percent and the use of power from renewable sources reduces the building’s carbon footprint by another 34 percent which means an environmental relief of 89 percent.
The-New-Deutsche-Bank-Towers-in-Frankfurt-By-Mario-Bellini-Architects-gmp-Architekten-05-759x603 The New Deutsche Bank Towers in Frankfurt / Mario Bellini Architects & gmp Architekten

© Marcus Bredt

1. Introduction

With “Project Greentowers” Deutsche Bank’s Head Office, popularly known as “Credit & Debit”, are becoming a “Green Building”: the prominent 155-metre twin towers in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, were transformed into a visible symbol that stands for the efficient use of resources and, simultaneously, a high-quality working environment.

With the consequent implementation of a “green building” approach within Europe’s largest building renovation, one of the most environmentally friendly skyscrapers in the world has been created – a model example for an ecologically sustainable office building.

Thanks to an optimized use of the existing space and the reshaping of the building’s interior design, a high-quality and more attractive working environment as well as additional workplaces were created.

As a result the building’s energy consumption and CO2 emissions were reduced by at least 50%. By 2010, the bank has undertaken a full-scale modernization of its Group Head Office, originally occupied in 1984, and has been setting new standards for the refurbishment of existing buildings.

Taking action with conviction:

Deutsche Bank’s voluntary commitment to sustainability comprises the promise to guarantee the neutralization of its global CO2
emissions by the year 2013. A major part of the bank’s total CO2 emissions are due to its energy consumption. Accordingly the bank will continuously improve the energy efficiency of the bank’s occupied buildings over the next years.

The-New-Deutsche-Bank-Towers-in-Frankfurt-By-Mario-Bellini-Architects-gmp-Architekten-10-759x734 The New Deutsche Bank Towers in Frankfurt / Mario Bellini Architects & gmp Architekten

© josef gartner permasteelisagroup

2. History of the twin towers

Location and history:

The basis for the development of the architectural design of the building at Taunusanlage 12 was the existing legally binding landuse plan from the early 1970-ies requesting a two-tower development on the premises of the former “Löwensteinsche” Palace. The bank acquired the land at the beginning of 1979 and built on it until 1983 the twin towers.

A modern landmark for Frankfurt:

The towers, whose construction is based on a „tube in tube“ technique with load-bearing external walls, a then new concept for skyscrapers, were already innovative and progressive at the time of their realization.

With their clear and timeless architecture the twin towers quickly became the symbol for Deutsche Bank and beyond that for Frankfurt’s financial district. Upon its first occupancy in 1984, the building had approx. 1,750 workplaces and provided modern facilities and amenities.

Furthermore the two elegant towers offered the space required for the development of the growing Deutsche Bank Collection. The
collection, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2005, is one of the largest and most significant corporate art collections in the world: Altogether it includes more than 50.000 exhibits, displayed all over the globe.

The-New-Deutsche-Bank-Towers-in-Frankfurt-By-Mario-Bellini-Architects-gmp-Architekten-12-759x732 The New Deutsche Bank Towers in Frankfurt / Mario Bellini Architects & gmp Architekten

© josef gartner permasteelisagroup

3. Project background

Modernization as an opportunity:

Due to the need to improve fire protection systems, an in-depth analysis of the building was launched, leading to a comprehensive and integrated renovation concept for the property.

Based on this fundamental situation and the climate strategy of the bank, the Management Boardopted for a consistent sustainnability-orientated „green building“ approach and a comprehensive renovation of the property. Deutsche Bank’s primary objectives comprised not only the architectural redesign of the interior spaces and surrounding area on the basis of ecological sustainability criteria, but also an efficient use of the building as well as the installation of modern, up-to-date
offices. Although the façade was brought up to the newest state of technology, the renowned appearance and the “look” of the
building remained unchanged.

The-New-Deutsche-Bank-Towers-in-Frankfurt-By-Mario-Bellini-Architects-gmp-Architekten-17-749x1000 The New Deutsche Bank Towers in Frankfurt / Mario Bellini Architects & gmp Architekten

© Marcus Bredt

4. Modernization concept

Architecture and sustainability:

Mario Bellini Architects, a Milanbased architecture and design office, took first place in the competition to handle the design. The tender offer for construction work planning and management was won by the architects gmp – von Gerkan, Marg und Partner.

The task of the architectural team was to create a new “look and feel” for the Group Head Office of Deutsche Bank AG, a “comprehensively convincing space concept” for the redesign and modernization of the building.

The transformation of the Group Head Office of Deutsche Bank AG begins with the question of identification, about how the “Deutsche Bank” brand name is presented overall, including the branding concept and corporate identity of all of its business divisions. A high-quality working environment that uses resources as sparingly as possible, a voluntary commitment to sustainability as well as openness and transparency are very important to Deutsche Bank and are also integral aspects of how it does business.

The bank’s new openness:

The first step taken by the team of specialists, expert planners and architectural bureau – which is immediately apparent to visitors – involved fully redesigning the lobby, while opening up the base floors, making the two towers visible from the lobby thanks to a glass roof construction. As a symbol of openness as well as Deutsche Bank’s global and internal network, the sculpture called “The Sphere” is now the virtual hub and center within the lobby.

Also from the outside the “Greentowers” became more attractive. The objective here was to make the building open and more transparent for visitors and users. While the Group Head Office was previously seen as an imposing “landmark site”, it is now be better connected to the nearby Opernplatz and Frankfurt city center.

The complete re-design of the Plaza and the outside facilities, with a new adjacent sculpture park, and the upgrade of the SBahn entrances further supports integrating the building complex into its urban surroundings. With the new public Café, the art
display and the publicly accessible Business Center, the exhibition space for the Deutsche Bank Collection has been increased and at the same time life – the interaction with clients, visitors and staff members – will be reorganized and optimized.

“Green building“ approach:

Transforming an existing skyscraper into a “green” building retroactively is a complex task, requiring the close cooperation of everyone involved: owner, architects, planners and technicians. For the modernization of the Group Head Office a comprehensive approach to an overall aesthetic concept was developed to comprise energy efficiency, user comfort and life cycle costs. The overall concept takes the following aspects into account:

  • Saving energy
  • Using renewable energy sources
  • Efficient use of all resources
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Intelligent building technologies/ Fire protection systems
  • High quality architecture
  • Optimal working conditions
The-New-Deutsche-Bank-Towers-in-Frankfurt-By-Mario-Bellini-Architects-gmp-Architekten-20-800x1200 The New Deutsche Bank Towers in Frankfurt / Mario Bellini Architects & gmp Architekten

© Marcus Bredt

5. Environmental goals

98% of the materials recycled:

The complete renewal of the building’s technical facilities and systems requires a careful selection of materials oriented on ecological requirements and needs of a modern and efficient workplace. This also applies to the disposal of materials. For this reason, dismantling and demolition work was carried out in accordance with sustainability criteria.

  • Of the 30,500 tons of demolition material, only two percent had to be disposed of through conventional means – all of the other material was returned to the corresponding industries or reused.

67% savings in heating and cooling energy:

New, super-insulating triple paned windows and an improved insulation keep the heat out in the summer and reduce heat loss in
the winter time.

As every second window can be opened, natural air circulation will take place and the indoor comfort
will increase. Behind the glass façade there is a conventional “perforated façade” made of concrete which, together with the
concrete slabs, fit exceptionally well into the overall energy concept. The mass of these building elements will be used as thermal storage for the heating and cooling within the building, which will no longer be carried out through the more electricity-intensive mean of mechanical ventilation, but through heating and cooling ceilings.

Another positive effect – the new compact technology allows for an increased ceiling height, from 2.65 m to 3.0 m. Spring and autumn are when heating and cooling are often needed simultaneously. The coupled heating and cooling system makes it possible to simultaneously produce both in one synchronized and energy efficient process. An energy efficient heat exchange system is reducing the consumption of energy even further. District heating is only used for peak periods, which means heat will no longer have to be generated in the building.

  • The heating energy saved is enough to heat approximately 750 homes for a year.

55% savings in electricity:

Intelligent systems provide for a higher level of comfort with less power consumption. Thanks to zone-based controls, lighting is
only on when and where it is needed. The new light management system, the use of high efficiency lighting fixtures and an
optimized use of the available daylight reduce energy consumption significantly.

The tubular light especially designed for the office floors is equipped with high-tech prism technology – achieving a light
output of 86%.

As cooling and heating are now based on the circulation of water, the former air exchange rate was reduced from 6 to 1.5 times the volume. As a result, the new ventilation systems consume less than half the electricity. Additionally the energy used for generating cooling can be significantly reduced through “free cooling”.

The elevator technology was completely replaced. A new traffic management system increases the transport capacity of the available elevators by optimizing transport distances and reducing waiting times. Depending on the travel direction and load, the elevators also generate electricity, which is fed back into the power grid. This technology and the optimized system design reduce power consumption by a total of more than 50 percent.

Green IT solutions, including energy-saving PC technologies, multifunction devices, printer pools and servers outside the building, reduce the need for power further.

  • The energy thus reduced is equivalent to the total annual electricity consumption of approximately 1,900 households.

74% water savings:

A completely new water management system was installed in the towers. Facility-internal water recycling, rainwater and the integration of water-saving systems allow for reducing the volume of fresh drinking water needed significantly. Rainwater and grey water are collected, treated and used for the outdoor watering systems as well as the WC and urinal flushing systems throughout the entire building complex.

More than 50 percent of the hot water needed is now heated through a solar thermal panel system. Surplus thermal energy is redirected into the heating system.

  • In total, the volume of fresh water required was thus reduced by 44,000 m³ each year – enough to fill 22 Olympic swimming pools.

20% greater space efficiency:

The new workplace concept, together with the new compact technology, increases the efficiency of the building’s usage.

Modern equipment and an improved office infrastructure make it possible to use office space flexibly and create optimal working conditions. Space-saving building technologies result in smaller technical plant, which provides 850 m² of additional office space.

The use of a new intelligent room booking tool will improve user convenience for the selection and booking of conference rooms – to nearly double room occupancy rates.

  • Following the renovation, up to 600 additional employees are able to profit from a modern working environment.

89% reduction in CO2 emissions:

The benefits from building efforts are for everyone. The reduction of our energy consumption and the consequent use of energy from renewable sources lead to an almost carbon neutral building.

The-New-Deutsche-Bank-Towers-in-Frankfurt-By-Mario-Bellini-Architects-gmp-Architekten-24-759x362 The New Deutsche Bank Towers in Frankfurt / Mario Bellini Architects & gmp Architekten

© Deutsche Bank

6. Green Building Strategy

A generally well-conceived “green building” investment in a property approaching the age of 30 turns out to be economically efficient, not just because of the future savings in increasingly scarce and more expensive resources, but also for other reasons as well: Through optimized space planning alone and smaller space requirements for technical facilities, the bank has now approximately 850 square metres more floor space in the twin towers, and thus additional room for a higher number of staff members.

By its very nature, sustainability looks to the future in ecological and economic terms. Over the long term, real estate properties that use resources sparingly will become more valuable than conventional constructions.

Deutsche Bank’s “Greentowers” project provides a good example of what potential for optimization and sustainable energy efficiency are possible for existing buildings. Environmentally appropriate building technologies and methods have been offered by the construction industry for years, and the sector has identified climate change protection as an opportunity for its own future growth. It is now up to the numerous owners and operators to analyze their properties from the ground up and to make them fit for the future in sustainability – in order to achieve both ecological and economic benefits.

The-New-Deutsche-Bank-Towers-in-Frankfurt-By-Mario-Bellini-Architects-gmp-Architekten-25-759x733 The New Deutsche Bank Towers in Frankfurt / Mario Bellini Architects & gmp Architekten

© josef gartner permasteelisagroup

Mario Bellini Architects:

Corporate Headquarters becomes a “Green Building”: through innovative and pioneering measures, the implementation of ecological sustainability criteria will be combined with the creation of a state-of-the-art working environment.

Deutsche Bank is in the process of modernizing and renovating its company headquarters, the two towers in Frankfurt am Main. The goal is to create an ecologically sustainable office building – with a remedial design setting world-wide standards. With the remediation of our headquarters we want to make an active contribution to climate protection.

The greatest refurbishment of a building undertaken in Europe will create one of the most eco-friendly high-rise buildings in the world – the headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt.

Here some data that demomstrate “Greentowers” – innovative sustainability:

  • 98% of the materials recycled
  • 55% savings in electricity
  • 74% savings in water

“Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design”, LEED certification

  • 67% savings in heating and cooling energy
  • 89%* reduction in CO2 emissions
  • 20% greater space efficiency

Reliable and efficient technologies are used and optimally integrated for the renovation of the Taunusanlage property. Several technical systems have been optimized, redeveloped or newly developed for the Greentowers project. In our use of water, we are installing the world’s most advanced flushing technology.

The optimized heating and cooling ceiling system is equipped with newly developed radiant elements for the thermal activation of the building’s mass – resulting in a 20% higher thermal output than conventional systems.

The windows opening parallel to the façade are equipped with motorized scissor hinges – making it possible to have natural ventilation even at wind speeds of up to 180 km/h.

The tubular lights especially designed for the office floors are equipped with high-tech prism technology – achieving a light output of 86%.

The use of a newly developed, intelligent room booking tool will improve user convenience for the selection and booking of conference rooms – to nearly double room occupancy rates. The GreenGain® toilets fixtures have a highly efficient flushing
technology – using 30 percent less water than comparable modern systems.

The-New-Deutsche-Bank-Towers-in-Frankfurt-By-Mario-Bellini-Architects-gmp-Architekten-27-759x506 The New Deutsche Bank Towers in Frankfurt / Mario Bellini Architects & gmp Architekten

© josef gartner permasteelisagroup

gmp Architekten von Gerkan, Marg und Partner:

The striking double towers of Deutsche Bank have become an urban-planning icon on the Frankfurt skyline since their completion in 1984. After a three-year program of refurbishment – the largest such program in Europe, involving a total floor area of 120,000 m² – the modernized company HQ was reopened in 2011, and now sets exemplary ecological standards, as witness American LEED Platinum certification and German DGNB Gold certification. The energy consumption was halved, water consumption cut by 70% and CO2 emissions were reduced by nearly 90 per cent. The entrance to the new Deutsche Bank features the architectural sculpture of the “Sphere”, a filigree but large entity that symbolizes the global links of Deutsche Bank.

The-New-Deutsche-Bank-Towers-in-Frankfurt-By-Mario-Bellini-Architects-gmp-Architekten-09-759x733 The New Deutsche Bank Towers in Frankfurt / Mario Bellini Architects & gmp Architekten

© josef gartner permasteelisagroup

Deutsche Bank Towers commended by the International Highrise Award jury:

The bank is recognised for its innovative revitalisation of an existing highrise.

The sustainable, energy-efficient modernised Deutsche Bank headquarters in Frankfurt has received a Special Commendation from this year’s International Highrise Award jury. According to the jury, the Towers show how existing structures and predefined shapes can be modernised in harmony with groundbreaking technology.

The jury was chaired this year by the renowned architect Albert Speer and members comprised architects, engineers, real estate professionals and architecture critics. For the first time, the jury awarded a Special Commendation for the revitalisation of an existing highrise, which went to the Deutsche Bank towers.

At the awards ceremony, held at Paulskirche in Frankfurt on November 15, the Lord Mayor of Frankfurt Peter Feldmann, who opened the event, said the award signifies the bank’s commitment to both modernisation and preservation. He added that Deutsche Bank “has made a key contribution to sustainability which in turn serves as a benchmark for the future”.

Martin Tuens, Corporate Real Estate and Services, Deutsche Bank, together with Volkwin Marg, founding partner of gmp – Architekten von Gerkan, Marg und Partner, and Giulio Castegini representing Mario Bellini Architects as the design architect, collected the award from Peter Cachola Schmal, Director of Deutsches Architekturmuseum.

Thanking the jury for considering an existing building for the first time in the awards for the world’s most innovative new highrise building, Tuens said: “Deutsche Bank’s towers are not just Frankfurt landmarks, they are also a trademark of our Bank.”

Deutsche Bank – Green Building Certifications:

As a member of the U.S. Green Building Council and founding member of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen e.V., we will be making the results of the renovation of our Group Head Office according to sustainability criteria verifiable through both the certifications: “Leader-ship in Energy and Environmental Design” (LEED) and “Deutsches Gütesiegel für Nachhaltiges Bauen” (DGNB). Deutsche Bank achieved with both certifications the highest possible award.

The-New-Deutsche-Bank-Towers-in-Frankfurt-By-Mario-Bellini-Architects-gmp-Architekten-32-750x1000 The New Deutsche Bank Towers in Frankfurt / Mario Bellini Architects & gmp Architekten

© public domain

Project Data:

Project name: The New Deutsche Bank Towers
Location: Taunusanlage 12, 60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Coordinates: 50.113917, 8.668327
Type: Bank, Skyscraper
Key data on the building: 

  • Workplace capacity based on flexible office concept: about 3,000
  • Height of each office tower: 155 m
  • 4 basement floors + 34 floors in Tower A and 36 floors in Tower B + 3 underground floors
  • Gross floor space: 121,522 sqm
  • Net floor space (NGF): 103.354 sqm
  • Rental area 75,093 sqm
  • Site area: 13,021 sqm
  • Underground parking spaces: 298
  • Service points for hydro-electrical cars: 10
  • Bicycle parking spaces: 160
  • Number of windows that can be opened: 2,080
  • 51,000 sqm (549,000 sq ft) of curtain wall refurbished with ultimate energy and ecological features whilst maintaining the original aesthetics.

Project Year: 2006 – 2011
History: Constructed 1979-1984 as Deutsche Bank’s Group Head Office in Frankfurt am Main, First occupancy: 1984; formal opening: 1985
Construction period: Complete renovation, modernization and reoccupation: December 2007 – February 2011; formal re-opening: February 2011
Status: Built
Completion Year: 2011
Visit Deutsche Bank’s website: here


  • 2012 – International Highrise Award – SPECIAL RECOGNITION
  • 2011 – LEED Awards – LEED Platinum
  • 2011 – DGNB Certificate Award – DGNB Gold

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: Deutsche Bank AG
Principle architects: Mario Bellini Architects – Piazza Arcole, 4 20143 MILAN, ITALY
Design Team – Mario Bellini Architects: Mario Bellini, Giulio Castegini , Giorgio Origlia
Collaborators: Manuel Hoff, Lucas Corato, Alessandro Zufferli, Luca Bosetti, Camilla Galli
Technical architects: gmp – Architekten von Gerkan Marg und Partner – Elbchaussee 139, 22763 Hamburg, Germany
Project Management: Drees & Sommer Frankfurt GmbH
Structural Engineering: S.A.N. Stöffler Abraham Neujahr GmbH, Sphere: B+G Ingenieure Bollinger und Grohmann GmbH
Lighting Design: ag Licht
Energy and Climatology Concept: PB Berchtold Ing. Büro
Mechanical Services: Ebert-Ingenieure GmbH
Landscape Architect: kiparlandschaftsarchitekten GbR
Information Design: unit-design GmbH
General Contractor: ARGE Lindner/ Imtech
Project leader: Giulio Castegini
Project leaders: Babette Kowalsky, Bernd Gossmann, Bernd Adolf
Design and construction management: ABB Architekten, Walter Hanig, Heinz Scheid, Johannes Schmidt
Façade Consultant: Emmer Pfenninger und Partner AG
Text Description: © Courtesy of gmp Architekten, Mario Bellini Architects, Deutsche Bank
Images: © Marcus Bredt, Mario Bellini Architects, gmp Architekten, Deutsche Bank

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