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Frankfurt’s Skyline Gets Minecrafted by Bjarke Ingels

This skyscraper contains elements of a real city all in one structure.
All images courtesy of BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group)

Fresh off last summer’s inverted maze at the National Building Museum and this spring’s stacked proposal for 2 World Trade Center, Bjarke Ingels Group has set its sights on the German city of Frankfurt with its brand of disruptive Minecraft-inspired architecture.

Taking inspiration from Frankfurt’s mix of classical European perimeter blocks and Modernist business towers, the Metz High-Rise project houses a mix of offices, residential, and public spaces whose functional attributes interrupt and reconfigure an otherwise rational stack of inhabited floors. Levels closer to the street shift back and forth to create landscaped terraces and canopies overlooking an adjacent park while further up the building, floors slide around in a spiral to create terraces, outdoor spaces, and viewing platforms for adjoining residential units. Upper level floors return to their rational geometries and align to the building’s footprint.


As BIG founder Bjarke Ingels tells Architect Magazine, “By gently shifting the floor plates of the simple elegant volume the tower incorporates all the elements of a real city: spaces for living and working, inside as well as outside. The result is a striking new silhouette on Frankfurt's skyline that looks different purely because it performs differently. The shift at the hip will be a sign that new life has infiltrated the cluster of corporate headquarters in downtown Frankfurt.“ Here’s to making boring downtown business districts more inhabitable and interesting.

To see more of BIG’s latest work, visit their website or visit their current exhibition, Hot to Cold: An Odyssey of Architectural Adaptation, on view at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC through August 30, 2015.


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