An over-sized ICE? A long spaceship? Or rather a gigantic airplane fuselage? After more than four years of construction time and numerous delays the 660 m long, 65 m wide and 35 m high office, shopping and hotel block “The Squaire” at City Frankfurt Airport is finally nearly completed. This new building, designed by JSK Architects, has been erected right on the already existing international train station and provides a flowing transfer between rail, airplane and car and features a roughly 200,000 sqm large business area across nine generously glazed floors.
The opening of the building is scheduled to take place in several stages during the next few months. Main tenants are two Hilton hotels and the KPMG accounting firm. Apart from that, about 90,000 sqm of additional office, retail and food service areas as well as a directly adjacent parking block have been integrated. The new building’s name is a mixture of the English words “square” and “air“.
In order to realize the ideas of the main investor, IVG Immobilien AG from Bonn, of a multi-functional property along with a perfect connection to the important traffic hub of Frankfurt Airport, the approx. 960 million Euro office city has been erected right on the roof of the already existing ICE international train station. The all in all 86 V-shaped pilotis, which can be seen from the outside, emphasizes the organically curved architecture’s futuristic character of steel and glass. Particularly impressive views can be experienced from the A3 Autobahn running along the building. However, due to the enormous size of the building, cars need, depending on their speed, 15 to 20 seconds to pass the building along its whole length!
With its red tower it nearly looks like a light-tower – matching the new Rheinauhafen. The eleven floors belong to the building Kap am Südkai, for which the architectural bureau KSP Engel und Zimmermann from Frankfurt was responsible for from design documentation and investment planning down to using it for their own purposes.
From the outside it is pretty plainly structured, since it falls neatly in line with the neighboring “Siebengebirge“. However, taking a closer look pays off, since the peculiarities can be spotted in the details: Already when entering the building it becomes clear that the architects had many ideas concerning details. On nearly 12,000 square meters the building cores of contrasting color meet on the roof area to form the building’s spine. Including a generous roof terrace granting a wide view.
However, this is not accessible to anybody like the first floor, which is open to interested visitors and can also be used as a showroom for exhibitors. If you wish to get from the first floor to the roof terrace you will have to pass the openly arranged offices of the upper floors. Arranged around the building’s colored cores one can already guess the view across the river Rhine provided by their glass fronts, a view one can enjoy unhindered from the roof terrace. “Room for working people, their guests and the public“ the Rheinauhafen intended to create with the Kap am Südkai according to its marketing slogan. And the concept seems to work.
The in-house “KAP Forum“ offers unusual meals such as “Salade Niçoise“ or potatoe almond balls in a mediterranean setting to employees and guests alike. And some think while getting treated by the creations of chef Steffen Kimmig, that there might be even more details hidden inside the Kap am Südkai. The extra weight gained there or inside the nearby chocolate museum can then be lost again while taking a walk along the Rhine shores. Read more…