Hauptwache 1
Diversity is essential for a city to flourish. We are proud to contribute to its cultivation.
  • Location
    Frankfurt
  • Project
    Neubau eines Mixed-Use-Gebäudes
  • Procedure
    1. Preis Wettbewerb
  • Client
    Signa Holding GmbH
  • Architect of record
    Caspar Schmitz-Morkramer
  • Planning and construction period
    2021–
  • Service phases
    2–5a
  • Gross floor area
    12.300 m²
  • Visualizations
    Signa Real Estate/caspar./bloomimages

The Hauptwache stands out as one of Frankfurt’s most iconic spots, where numerous facets of life converge: commerce, culture and church, past and present, work and leisure. On Katharinenpforte, which borders the Hauptwache plaza, we are planning a six-floor mixed-use building with offices and retail space. Its prominent location at the end of a block, facing the Katharinenkirche (St. Catherine’s Church), inspired us to design the facade and cubature with a subtle twist. The perforated facade features light-colored terrazzo elements with colored aggregate, punctuated by floor-to-ceiling windows. This net-like facade envelops the entire structure, gracefully curving around the block’s corners. The top two floors gently incline at two points, without compromising the grid pattern. This design feature enables the new building to harmonize with its shorter neighbors across Kleiner Hirschengraben and align with the church’s roofline. It creates a visual bridge between old and new, unifying the contrasting architectural protagonists into a cohesive urban landscape.

“In order to adapt to the different eaves heights, we developed the idea of a slightly twisted structure. With its gentle twist, it creates a kind of portal situation in conjunction with the St. Catherine’s Church across the street. The twist is the subtle but striking feature of the building, and at the same time symbolizes the idea of integrating differences, which is programmatically so important for the future of inner cities.”

In motion

The top five floors offer 7,300 square meters of premium office space with flexible floor plans. Embracing the “New Work” philosophy, we go beyond the static workplace to provide offices and spatial arrangements for individual use and digital on-demand booking. Triple-paned windows ensure ample daylight, street-facing windows open for ventilation, and each office floor boasts a balcony opening to the inside of the block. A landscaped terrace on the second floor, visible from the block interior, serves as a communal gathering space. The sixth floor’s 500 square meter rooftop garden boasts fantastic city panoramas, enriching the work environment. The ground level provides 2,100 square meters of retail and dining spaces, adaptable to the needs of the tenants. Outdoor dining options should revitalize the streetscape, particularly the square across the way, Friedrich-Stoltze-Platz.

Green Added Value

Access to the office floors is through entrances on Katharinenpforte and Kleiner Hirschengraben, marked by double height and rounded lintels in the facade. This motif of rounded openings repeats on the top floor, creating a harmonious composition despite the deviation from the grid. The Hauptwache is home to one of the city’s largest public transit hubs. Complementing this is an underground garage on the second basement level with parking for 20 vehicles and 140 bicycles, accessible via a bike elevator. We designed the roof as a fifth facade, tapping its potential to include sustainable features like abundant greenery on the terraces to improve the microclimate and biodiversity. Rainwater storage and solar panels will optimize the building’s energy supply. We are targeting LEED Platinum certification.

Project team