Frankfurt Skyline Countdown # 20
Construction of the Frankfurter Büro Center was well underway in 1975, when the oil crisis brought work to a standstill. The building stood unfinished for four years while the financial and rental situation was sorted out. Then finally it was sold to a company called ECE Project Management, which completed the building in 1980 and found tenants to move in to the offices.
ECE is a controversial company which has caused considerable damage especially in middle-sized German cities by building huge car-oriented shopping centers. On the plus side, it also runs the attractive Promenaden shopping center in the main railroad station in Leipzig, which as far as I know does not generate unnecessary motor traffic.
Like several other Frankfurt skyscrapers, this one has a name that is partly German and partly English. In German it would be Frankfurter Büro Zentrum and in English it would be Frankfurt Office Center. But for some reason they chose to have it in Denglish, which is a mixture of the two.
My favorite example of Denglish is a four-word slogan that I once saw on a van in Frankfurt. The first and last words were in English, and the two in the middle in German: Food ist unser Business.
Another recent example of Denglish was a headline in Germany’s strident boulevard newspaper Bild, with two words in English and one in German: “We beneiden you!” This was addressed to the British public at a time when Covid vaccinations were progressing faster in the U.K. than in Germany. Apparently Bild trusted its readers to recognize the English words we and you, but not envy, so they translated that into German.
The Frankfurter Büro Center has 40 floors and is just over 142 meters tall, which makes it Frankfurt’s 20th tallest building (as of 2021). On the 15th floor there is a huge air conditioner which provides cool air for the offices on all forty floors.
Here in my Frankfurt Skyline Countdown, you can use the links at the bottom of each post to count down (or up?) the twenty tallest buildings in Frankfurt. As you click through, the ordinal numbers keep going down but the heights of the buildings keep going up, from 142 to 259 meters.
Nine of the twenty posts in the Frankfurt Skyline Countdown feature the German dramatist, poet and historian Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805), even though he does not appear to be enthusiastic about all the modern architecture surrounding his statue.
My photos in this post are from 2004 and 2021. I revised the text in 2021.