Euro Glass Palace In Frankfurt: Architect Alters Plans For ECB

The European Central Bank (ECB) unveiled Tuesday fresh details of its landmark new headquarters building in Frankfurt: a slanted skyscraper in glass built above an old fruit and vegetable market.

Bank governors are to set interest rates for the euro currency from a bug-proof meeting room in the building, but much of the site will be walled with glass to symbolize the bank's wish for transparency./strong>

The Viennese architecture bureau which won a competition to design the new headquarters described Tuesday the changes it had made at the request building of the central bank and the city of Frankfurt, which took umbrage at plans to demolish parts of the old indoor market.

City authorities offered the riverside site to the ECB on condition that it preserve the concrete sheds where produce had been auctioned by farmers and importers since the 1930s. The market's grating-pattern brick facade has been integrated into the design.

Wolf Prix of the Coop Himmelb(l)au design bureau said he had sought to unite "transparency, efficiency and stability" in the design.

The centrepiece of the site will be a 185-metre-high office building comprising two slanting towers that not only intertwine but are slightly wider at the top than at the base. They will be joined by interior bridges and green modules described as "hanging gardens.

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