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“We find ourselves in the midst of a monsoon of polymorphic demands and specific knowledge. Superimposing these different levels brings about interferences. Escalations of this experience - which we termed ‘superference’ - became our architectural method of design.”
Because urban architecture is by its very nature also urban design, every designer of a new building also takes on the responsibility for the neighbourhood in which it is built. This may be the most precise definition of the philosophy and selfregard of Eike Becker Architects. Since being founded in 1999, the practice has predominately produced designs for dense urban environments.
Its services span from office and administrative buildings through high rises and hotels to multiunit housing, and right up to complex urban design projects. Its projects are always developed for their specific context, and imbue prominent locations with a new face, or come to redefine urban spaces. The planners reconcile timely relevance, in the sense of innovative technology, energy efficiency and sustainability, with the classic ideal of the European city.
The ma|ro ensemble is a pair of buildings that form a gateway to the Neue Rothofstrasse in the centre of Frankfurt. The designers deliberately eschewed an identical design for these kindred structures. Although both buildings are easily recognisable as being interrelated, the actual distance between them is highlighted in the diverse arrangement of the various layers that form the façade.
A concept based on stacking and shifting frames is responsible for the angular and irregular contours. Enclosures protrude from the main façade into the public space and create a sense of vibrant movement within the orthogonal massing. A transparent curtain wall is accentuated by projections and mediates between the adjacent buildings with their rather traditional townhouse architecture and the shiny and sleek banking towers so typical of this metropolis on the Main. The diversity of uses reflects this location in the city center: shops and restaurants on the ground and first floors followed by prestigious office spaces on the upper floors.
CLIENT: Groß & Partner Grundstückentwicklingsgesellschaft mbH
LOCATION, COUNTRY: Frankfurt am Main, Germany
COMPLETED: January 2014 to 1st quarter 2016
GFA: 13,040 m2²
BUILDING COSTS: €26.2m