PalaisQuartier, Frankfurt/Main

How to make a commercial shopping street the highlight of the town?

With around 14,000 visitors every day, Frankfurt’s Zeil is one of the most high-selling and heavily trafficked shopping streets in Germany. The pedestrian zone is around 500 meters long and is lined with shops, department stores, cafes, and restaurants. Since the late 19th century, the Zeil has been the place to be seen in Frankfurt, and thanks to reorganization and ongoing renewal, it has retained its reputation as a popular place to stroll and shop in the city.

Since 2009, the PalaisQuartier has stood at the interface between Zeil and Hauptwache, combining various urban uses: living, working, culture, leisure and retail. Alongside the “MyZeil” shopping center and the Thurn und Taxis Palace, the 135-meter-high “Nextower” office building and the 96-meter-high Jumeirah Hotel tower stand as new landmarks within the city.

The PalaisQuartier creates new pedestrian paths and expands on the existing structures in a logical way. At the same time, the towers are symbols of modern sustainability: Behind the high-rise façade with its striking angles hides an intelligent energy concept for highly efficient heat recovery. As a result, the Nextower received DGNB certification in Gold.

We created a new quarter that united four striking buildings in a very tight space.

Project: PalaisQuartier, Frankfurt/Main

Client: PalaisQuartier GmbH & Co. KG

GFA: 221,000 m²

GV: 982,400 m³

Competition: 10/2002, 1st prize

Completion: 10/2009

Awards: DGNB Gold Nextower , Best Tall Building Award 2010, Finalist

Photos: Jean-Luc Valentin, Eibe Sönnecken, Ben Kuhlmann

“The PalaisQuartier is far more than just shopping, hotel and offices – it is an opportunity to set new impulses for central Frankfurt and make it more attractive.”

First the PalaisQuartier, then the MainTor site on Willy Brandt Platz, which we designed around ten years later: Both are key areas of development in downtown Frankfurt. They offer the opportunity to realign urban structures and to exploit the potential of the city center.

Relevant themes from architecture and urban planning

The city as an infinite project

Driving Innovation Together