Tower 185

>> Frankfurt Skyline Countdown # 4 <<   

A recent addition to the Frankfurt Skyline Countdown, as of 2012, is the Tower 185 at Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage 35–37, between the Trade Fair and Frankfurt Central Station.

Originally this new building was supposed to be 185 meters tall, which is why they named it Tower 185. Later the plans were changed, somewhat mysteriously, and the building turned out to be first 200 and then 204 meters tall, but they kept the original name.

The height of 204 meters makes it Frankfurt’s fourth tallest building.

As I have mentioned elsewhere, the extra nineteen meters at the top of the building were not exactly legal, since city zoning regulations only allowed for a height of 185 meters on this particular street, but the city seems to have given in and changed the regulations to match the building. Nobody made a big issue of this, but in retrospect it makes you wonder who is actually running the city, the elected officials or the big corporations.

Tower 185 with its neighbor, Pollux

The developers claim that Tower 185 is a “Green Building” which “heralds a new era in sustainable, eco-friendly and energy-efficient office architecture.”

The main tenant of Tower 185 is the firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers (pwc), which has rented so much space that their initials are prominently displayed at the top of the building.

PricewaterhouseCoopers seems to be a rating agency, among other things, but the more I click around in their website the more confused I get about what it is they actually do. (Perhaps they don’t want me to know?) Whatever it is, they certainly make a lot of money doing it.

On their website, they go on and on about “the vital contribution that business brings to society” and “why business can and should be trusted.”

But they do admit that in recent years, trust in business has been “undermined by perceived untrustworthy behaviour.” (Un-huh…)

Tower 185 from the back

My photos in this post are from 2012. I revised the text in 2020.

Next: Frankfurt Skyline Countdown # 3.

9 thoughts on “Tower 185”

  1. pwc are indeed one of the major consultancy firms. I made use of them at one point and while I share concerns about them overall as a business, they did have some very good people working for them who ran a very good project for us. One of those later left to set up his own much smaller and more conscientious consultancy business, which was the one I freelanced with for many years, so some good came out of pwc 😉

    1. Hi Sarah, I’m glad to hear that some good came out of pwc. In the 1990s I also had some dealings with consultancy firms (such as Roland Berger) and was also impressed by some of the (younger) people who worked for them — apparently they could afford to hire the best university graduates. But their advice, overall, was not particularly useful.

      1. Don, in anticipation that we will have something much more interesting to discuss next year I will let you in on the secret of PWC now – insofar as I can, having left their employ in 1991. When I was with them they were one of the Big 4 (I think it was 6 then) Accounting firms and our core business was accountancy, tax, audit and insolvency work. They were beginning to dabble in ‘consultancy services’ unrelated to the core business specified which necessitated the engagement of vastly overpaid non finance staff. At the time this part of the business was looked down upon by us accountants (maybe snobishly so) and many of the partners (owners) of the firm were also less openingly against it. This latter part of the business grew and when Price Waterhouse merged with Coopers and Lybrand to become pwc it grew even more such that today they (and the other big 4 accounting firms) give ‘advice’ on absolutely anything anyone is prepared to pay them for … hence I understand your confusion as to what they do.

        1. Thanks, Albert. Giving ‘advice’ on everything and anything sounds like a lucrative business model, for those who can pull it off.

          1. When I think of consulting I usually think of firms like McKinsey or Roland Berger, but I’ve just looked up some listings and found that pwc is right up there in terms of revenue, number of employees, etc.
            Before I retired I had dealings with consultants on several occasions (including Roland Berger), so I do have some idea of how they think, how they talk, etc. Once I even saw a German play about consultants, ‘Unter Eis’ by Falk Richter, and I have written it up in one of my blog posts:

  2. Do not like this monstrous modern buildings, prefered the traditional old , it is what brings folks to Europe in the first place with one exception in Paris..

  3. Ask no more who is running the city, ‘elected officials or big business’ … the answer lies in this building, on the initials at the top, just as the answer here lies in sports stadiums being re-named after corporations. The building is sleek, but a bit modern for my tastes … I prefer the buildings from centuries past. But the high-rise, I am told, is ‘progress’. Yep, until the electricity goes out or a terrorist plane is seeking a target. Sorry … in a bit of a cynical mood tonight!

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