Frankfurt Skyline Countdown # 16
The Skyper tower, in the center of Frankfurt at Taunusanlage 1, was completed in December 2004. It has 38 floors and is 153.80 meters tall, which makes it the sixteenth tallest building in Frankfurt (as of 2020).
Skyper is easy to recognize because of its partly rounded shape — concave on this side, convex on the other. It is connected to a nearby traditional building, a villa from the year 1915, by a glass connecting hall which is nine meters high.
Like most Frankfurt skyscrapers, Skyper has been bought and sold several times since (and even before) its completion. Currently it belongs to various subsidiaries of the Allianz insurance group, and is managed by the Allianz Real Estate company. One of the main tenants is currently the German Federal Bank, whose own headquarters building (in another part of Frankfurt) is being modernized and expanded.
Personally, I find Skyper one of the more elegant and interesting buildings in the Frankfurt skyline, but the dramatist, poet and historian Friedrich Schiller (1759-1805) doesn’t seem to agree with me. Here he can be seen gazing in admiration at the Frankfurt Opera, which is two blocks away, and scornfully ignoring the Skyper building to his right.
The one thing I find embarrassing about Skyper is its name, which is apparently formed from the first and third syllables of the English word skyscraper, leaving out the second.
I mean, really, if you had just spent millions of Euros building an elegant new skyscraper, would you give it a silly name like “Skyper”? Of course you wouldn’t.
My theory about this (just my imagination, really) is that some high-powered executive’s two-year-old child came up with the name by mistake and the executive found it cute, and his subordinates were too cowardly to object. And the child, now an earnest MBA student in some expensive university, has trouble living it down, sort of like Christopher Robin of Winnie the Pooh.
(I must admit, however, that the names of the other buildings in the countdown aren’t much better.)
My photos in this post are from 2004 and 2005. I revised the text in 2020.