|ABB Architects - Germany|
Jürgen-Ponto-Platz 1, Frankfurt
1974 - 1980
The Silver Tower is located in the center of the business district of Frankfurt am Main and is considered as one of the most famous skyscraper in the Main metropolis. The building was designed and built by ABB Architekten from 1974 to 1980. The 166 meter high tower was the tallest building in Germany until it was surpassed by the Frankfurt Trade Fair Tower in 1990. By the year 2008, the Silver Tower served as headquarters of the Dresdner Bank and was therefore often referred to as the Dresdner Bank Skyscraper or as Jürgen Ponto Skyscraper in relation to its location. When the Dresdner Bank was taken over by the Commerzbank in early 2009, it was planned to sell the Silver Tower, since the space was no longer needed by the new owner. Since a sale of the building, probably 200 million euros worth at the time, did not appear possible during the financial crisis, the entire high-rise building should be rented out in summer of 2009 an a long term base. In November 2011 the Commerzbank announced to have sold the building to an investor community. After an extensive renovation, the building is used by the German railway company since April 2012. In January 2015 the tower was sold again.
The silver aluminum façade should give ease and lightness to the cubes of the skyscraper, and make it stand out from the darker neighbors such as the City Skyscraper. Originally only 25 floors had been approved. But since the building would have turned out too bulky, the building was allowed to raise in height. The skyscraper has two basements and 32 floors above ground. In the third and fourth floor there was the staff canteen. The 31st floor housed a water reservoir until 1994, which was legally prescribed for reasons of fire protection. This reservoir was also used as a staff swimming pool. As a consequence of insufficient use, the reservoir was converted into a large conference room. In this floor, the windows reach from floor to the ceiling. The 32nd floor was partially destroyed in a fire on April 1, 1998. In the standard floors, the ceiling height (floor to floor) is 4.2 m with a floor area of 1900 m². The technical installations are contained within suspended ceilings. The building was provided exclusively for open-plan offices. In plan, the high-rise building consists of two large, rounded squares, which are offset in the longitudinal direction by a few meters. The resulting niches, located on each side and creating an elongated rounded rectangle, contain the service cores (elevators, emergency staircases). The design motif of the rounded corners can be found throughout the building, at the windows and pillars and even in the signs in the interior.
In 1984 the building served as the setting for the German movie "Down" (Abwärts). In the early scenes was shown the now no longer existing swimming pool. For dramaturgical reasons the building had 40 floors in the movie, it was therefore "increased" by 8 floors.