A new sleek skyscraper complex on the bank of the Main River that runs through Frankfurt will be the new headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB).
Frankfurt (dpa) - The new headquarters, constructed at the site of an old wholesale fruit and vegetable market in the eastern part of Frankfurt, has taken more than a decade to plan and cost 1.3 billion euros (1.38 billion dollars).
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The new structure consists of three elements:
- A sleek glass high-rise with two towers, 45 and 43 storeys tall
- A restored 250-metre-long market hall
- An entrance building that links the high-rise and the market hall
The layout also includes a memorial honouring the 10,000 Frankfurt Jews transported from the market hall to concentration camps by the Nazis.
The winning design, submitted by Vienna-based architects Coop Himmelb(l)au, was selected in 2004 following an international competition launched by the ECB that included applications from more than 300 architects in 31 countries and four continents.
Preliminary construction for the structure began in 2008, and main construction launched in spring 2010.
Final costs for the new structure came in 450 million euros overbudget from costs estimated in 2005. The rise in construction material costs added 220 million euros to the budget, and the integration of the market hall, which is also protected as a historic site, was also more difficult and more expensive than estimated.
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