UNStudio designs one of the most sustainable office buildings in Germany

14 September 2022



New tower in Frankfurt to form part of urban green corridor

Tenderstream member UNStudio’s design proposal for NION, a 45,000 sq m office tower in Frankfurt, was recently selected by Groß & Partner for further development. Located in Europaviertel West, a lively hybrid city district which has been in continual development since 2005, NION will be one the most sustainable office buildings in Germany. The overall concept breaks new ground both technically and architecturally, focussing on both environmental and social sustainability.

As an integral part of the Europa-Allee urban green corridor, the site is intended to be a vehicle for greenery and biodiversity, bringing ecological benefits to the environment, while improving the microclimate and contributing to the well-being of visitors and users of the building. To this end, UNStudio collaborated with OKRA landscape architects in optimising the design as integral part of Frankfurt’s green network.

The structure consists of two intersecting volumes, where the northwest and southeast corners are cut away to create a vertical effect, emphasised by lush greenery.  Angled facade surfaces contrast with the cut-out corners that taper from the seven storey base building, picking up the lines of the surrounding perimeter block development and unifying the different urban scales. 

Further greening plays an important role throughout the project, including the interior space in the base, green zones in the office floors, terraces and roof gardens. Semi-public use is incorporated by way of dining establishments, a bakery and a café, alongside the inclusion of partially public urban space in front of the base building. 

DGNB Platinum Certified NION employs a low-carbon load-bearing structure, with prefabricated components used in construction. The concept responds to the weather and actual demand, incorporating a photovoltaic facade, rainwater management, geothermal heating and cooling, smart building management, demand-based air conditioning and LED lighting, energy recuperating elevators, e-charging stations with intelligent load management and green and open work environments. 

Jürgen Groß, managing director of Groß & Partner, stated: “A comprehensive sustainability and ESG approach for NION has been at the forefront from the beginning“ states Jürgen Groß, managing director of Groß & Partner. “The tower will offer great added value to its surroundings, not only in terms of design, but above all climatically and ecologically.”

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

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